Eclipse Phase: Bitenic squid

24 October 2009

One of the possible characters can be played in the RPG Eclipse Phase is an uplifted octopus; of course, when you bring tentacles into the equation I go off in weird (and safe for work) directions. In the shared universe Orion's Arm there is an uplifted species called the bitenic squid, originally written by the gifted and talented Anders Sandberg.

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Morph: Bitenic Squid
Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Bioweave Armor (light), Cortical Stack, Chameleon Skin, Claws, Grip Pads, Skin Pocket, Vacuum Sealing
Armor rating: 2/3
Aptitude maximum: 30
Durability: 25
Wound threshold: 5
Advantages: 8 tentacles plus 2 feeding arms, beak attack (1d10 DV, use unarmed combat skill), ink attack (blinding, use Exotic Ranged: Ink Attack skill), limber (level 1) trait, enhanced vision, +5 coordination, +15 Swimming, +5 Climbing, +5 Somatics, +5 Intuition, +5 to one aptitude of the player's choice, ambidexterous x3
CP cost: 35
Credit cost: Expensive (minimum 45000+) The bitenic squid was originally designed by Dr. A. Sandberg of Bitenic Combine, AB on pre-Fall Earth not as part of an uplift experiment but rather as a biomorph optimized for construction, repair, and salvage operations in deep space without requiring bulky life support equipment. This particular model was developed in part from the genomes of giant, humboldt, and giant cranch squid; it was thought that they would be ideal for manipulation and transportation of heavy or bulky objects in microgravity environments due to the presence of multiple gripping tentacles as well as the great strength of the feeding arms characteristic of squid. Thus, the morph was engineered for strength and self-propulsion rather than physical flexibility. Following the Fall of Earth this particular morph saw some use during efforts to rapidly construct biomorph-livable orbital habitats and in asteroid mining. Possessing a simpler genome relative to transhumans, it was hypothesized that they would be easier to modify as required; to a certain extent this proved true as they were vacuum adapted in short order under circumstances in which environment suits were in short supply.

The mantle of the bitenic squid morph is approximately two meters in length, with one meter long tentacles and 1.5 meter long feeding arms. The claws on the clubs of the feeding arms were enhanced to assist in towing irregularly shaped objects in microgravity, such as irregularly shaped modules and asteroid fragments. The basic modifications inherent in this line of morphs were included to facilitate operations in microgravity, including a subdermal pouch for storing tools or small components, thus reducing the need for harnesses or other external equipment storage. For obscure reasons this morph never really caught on outside of a dedicated community of biomorph freaks and some experimentally minded mercurials. They are relatively rare because the few transhumans who sleeve them hang onto them. This morph also proved impractical to produce en masse due to the principle of abyssal gigantism, the genes for which had not been engineered out of the genome.