Thursday, November 13, 2014

Liberated Borg

Since the Concord first encountered the Borg, strides have been made in reclaiming or liberating people who have been assimilated. The process of assimilation is so pervasive using cybernetics and nanites so advanced that just the study of the Borg has propelled Concord cybernetics ahead several years, but it has also made liberating victims that much harder. Plus, as difficult as it is to free someone from the ironclad hold of the Borg physically, the psychological damage is sometimes insurmountable.

Since the first successful liberation of someone from the clutches of the Borg, the process has been refined. There is now a standard of care practice that limits the damage to the patient and increases the odds of success. Even so, the chance of successfully liberating someone is only 30%. Many of the cybernetic implants must be removed (some are ingrained into the Borg's biological systems so completely that they can only be deactivated), the neural transceiver must be deactivated (in many cases the transceiver cannot be removed, so there is a danger that it could be reactivated to allow connection to the Borg once again), and the nanites that flood the patient's every system must be rendered inert. Even after the implants are removed, new cybernetic implants may have to be installed that aren't filled with insidious Borg tech to replace lost limbs or organs.

The nanites are the most problematic part of liberating someone from the Borg. Not only is it possible to reactivate Borg nanites with the proper stimuli (thankfully, this is exceedingly difficult), but the nanites are so valuable to a wide variety of people from scientists to criminals that they make liberated Borg akin to a walking treasure trove; they will forever travel with a target on their back. Plus, the nanites make natural healing difficult. For some time, liberated Borg are forced to rest in regeneration alcoves in order for their bodies to properly rest and heal. The time that a liberated Borg must continue to use Borg tech to heal differs from patient to patient and also on their species, but the average appears to be between six months to a year. During that time period, the liberated Borg's biological functions begin to improve and reassert themselves; most are even able to regrow hair (if their species normally grows hair that is).

Psychologically, liberated Borg are essentially entirely new beings. If they had lives before being assimilated, those lives are lost to them. They may have the memories of who they were before, but the connections are severed, the emotions drained away by the cold logic of the Borg which is the one thing that appears to stay with a liberated Borg even long after all the implants are removed or deactivated. The first, and oftentimes most difficult, hurdle liberated Borg must overcome is no longer being a part of the Collective. It takes time for one of the liberated to get used to only one voice being in their mind. Initially, suicide claimed the lives of nearly half of all beings liberated by the Borg, but psycho-therapy courses and meditative regimens have been developed that have lessened the suicide rate to 10%. While liberated Borg crave the voices of the Collective, they have a hard time making the connection that the Collective is just another group of beings sharing ideas, like a family, or a starship crew. Most liberated Borg have a hard time fitting into social situations. They must essentially re-learn social cues, etiquette, humor, and even mating habits as if they were a child.

Another aspect of their recovery is that other beings look upon them with fear, suspicion, even loathing and curiosity. The Borg are a very hated enemy, on par with the Illithid, and many people throughout the Alpha Quadrant either know of colonies wiped out or have been personally affected by Borg attacks. People often have a hard time accepting a liberated Borg. Even if they don't carry any sort of grudge against the Borg or the liberated, the liberated Borgs' own lack of social skills make it hard for other people to accept them into their groups.

Liberated Borg are seen as a huge asset in the eyes of the Concord and other stellar powers that have come into contact with the Borg. They retain the knowledge they gained while part of the collective, and their brains are able to retain information easier. This makes them a valuable source of information on the Borg. They also retain the Borg drive for efficiency and apply that need to every aspect of their lives, this makes liberated Borg very handy on a starship especially if they are a technician. The Collective also see liberated Borg as high value targets. Liberated Borg have been singled out for re-assimilation as they now have new experiences that could prove valuable to the Borg.

Liberated Borg for Savage Worlds
Liberated Borg is a template that is added to an existing character race. I found the great idea "Experience" from here.
Experience: A liberated Borg retains much of the knowledge they where exposed too as part of the Collective. When they make Common Knowledge rolls no subject is considered “foreign.”
Outsider: Liberated Borg have the Minor version of the Outsider Hindrance applied to them. If their species or character already has this Hindrance, the Charisma penalty increases to -4. If the Charisma penalty is already -4, ignore this Hindrance.

Liberated Borg for Savage Worlds
Liberated Borg characters are rolled as a character from a standard race as normal and then adds the following traits.
Experience: Liberated Borg gain an additional +1 bonus to Science rolls.
Socially Inept: Liberated Borg suffer a -1 penalty to all Empathy rolls. Empathy penalty cannot go below -2.

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