Homo Celestes are a new species of human, adapted for life in space. Developed by the Post Darwinists through Genetek. The latest version (4.0) is powered by a physics defying artificial mitochondrial replacement organelle (MRO) that produces incredible amounts of biological energy. Before MRO these people are astonishingly strong, fast, and tough. With it they are truly superhuman.
The Mitochondrial Replacement Organelle (MRO) was stolen by PD and Genetek. No one in those organizations actually understands how it works. The only one who knows where it came from was Manwe, leader of the Post Darwinists. Manwe once mentioned to Storm that it was originally called the "Manifold Interstitial Temporospatial Organelle" or "MITO", but Manwe introduced to Genetek as MRO.
All members of the Post Darwinists are genetically modified to some version of Homo Celestes. The most recent upgrade to version 3 included many potent enhancements, but also began to diverge from baseline homo sapiens physiology in noticeable ways. Field agents are generally version 3, 2 or 1.
The MRO was the version 4 upgrade. Compared to previous versions these HCs are supercharged.
Two weeks after version 4 was stolen and used on non-PD people, version 5 was under development. It is based on the un/lucky mutation of Genie and Dan's progeny. Shadows provoked sudden advances in the technology required to create an intrinsic lace and to conceptualize the genetic changes needed into a fertilized egg. These are being integrated into the genetic engineering of the next generation of Celestes children under Simon Chang's careful guidance.
Celestes Sophant Type
Celestes gain a wide array of bonuses as they transition from Homo Sapiens to Homo Celestes.
****GR NOTE 2019-04-30**** The details of this sophant type are inconsistent with the variety of versions that are in the world at the start of the cycle. Broadly, the size of the Overpowered bonus should be limited to 2R/2L for each version. Celestes strong, tough, and fast are consistently part of all HCs, but the effects on actual Approach scores, stress slots, and consequence slots will be limited by the available refresh.
Homo Celestes are a form of Augmented human, and as such do have access to the full 44R / 20L of a starting character. To keep power levels narratively consistent, no more than 4R / 4L of Celestes augmentation should be applied for each version (e.g., HC v3 would have 12R based on 12L). Note that Overpowered is separate from Limitations, and that Homo Celestes do no have to take Unstable Augment (though it is quite common for them).
|High Concept:||Create a single phrase or sentence that neatly sums up who you are, what you do, what your “deal” is.||n/a|
|Trouble:||Define that thing that always makes your life more complicated, such as a personal weakness, or a recurring enemy, or an important obligation.||n/a|
|Character Aspects:||Character Aspects define who you are while allowing you to twist fate in ways that tie in with your character’s tendencies, skills, or problems. Start with 3 Aspects. At least one of these should connect the character to another character.||n/a|
|Appearance and Backstory:||These descriptions include relationships, family, work history, and other relevant characteristics. Remember that FATE characters start off highly skilled and experienced. Their backstory should reflect this.||n/a|
|Sophant Type:||Copy this text to the Sophant Type on your character sheet.
|Approaches:||Celestes have much higher approach points than unaugmented humans. Once all the bonus points and penalties are applied they have a total of +13 point of approach compared to an unaugmented character's 9. Starting characters have the normal distribution of 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0 to their approaches along with these bonuses:
The maximum initial approach bonus is +5. The minimum is -2.
If the Celestes is converting from human, the process takes 14 days but they gain access to the Celestes stunts immediately (Strong, Forceful, Quick).
|Fate Points & Refresh:||Fate Points are a temporary pool of points that are spent to twist your fate and bend your character's narrative. Players can use 1 Fate Point to:
Usually characters start each session with a Fate Point pool equal to their Refresh plus any bonus Fate Points earned from compels. A character can have more Fate Points than their Refresh score. Celestes must spend all their Refresh during character creation because they are overpowered.
|Abilities:||Abilities extend the standard Fate stunt to include Stunts, Teams, Augments, Magic, and Stuff. These all function like normal stunts in a broad sense, but may have specific rules that govern them, like Magic and Teams. Celestes must choose one and only one Stunt, Augment, Magic ability, Team, or Stuff. This is related to being overpowered. Add these to the character sheet:
If the Celestes is converting from human, the process takes 14 days. They gain access to the Celestes stunts immediately (Strong, Forceful, Quick) but the bonuses follow the schedule below noted in the Augments section. If you role play the all the days of the upgrade the Overpowered characteristic can be ignored. This is rarely feasible.
|Overpowered:||Celestes are overpowered by 6 points. Some sophant species are overpowered out of the gate, with up to 6 extra Refresh. These extra points come with significant long term costs. While Overpowered characters are tempting for their early power advantage, they are not able to twist fate like other characters.||Gain 6R|
- Immense physical strength, quickness, and toughness.
- Can survive hugely deadly radiation doses.
- Can survive at least three minutes of vacuum without apparent harm.
- Almost all tissues except red blood cells and platelets are inky black with large quantities of melanin.
- Nerves conduct electricity faster and with less resistance.
- Born with an intrinsic lace.
- Gestation requires use of an artificial womb (Womb-A).
The latest version of MRO was stolen from Genetek and the PD and administered to five humans on March 1st, 2034. Three of them began to develop super powers on day 4. Four of these powered individuals were subjected to a profound dose of radiation early in the first day of transformation. The location of the fifth is unknown.
Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy has been activated in the hosts. Their strength is expected to continue to increase for several weeks. Combined with the significantly increased toughness of their skeletal muscles and bones, the hosts are immensely strong. Within hours of the activation phase they were capable of dead-lifts in excess of 2000Kg. It is not clear how strong they will ultimately become.
Host stem cells begin to produce a new type of cell similar to nerve cells in structure. These are distributed throughout the body, though most prevalent in skin, muscles, and bones. These cells spool out zigzag carbon nanotubes ranging up to 30cm long, embedded in the cell walls. Ultimately these form a tight mesh of carbon nanotubes making the tissues much more resistant to cutting and tearing damage.
Zigzag nanotubes are semiconductors but do not appear to be used in that way.
These are most active in the skin and muscles, but you're seeing these reinforcements throughout their bodies. Nerve cells and neurons also integrate these nanotube reinforcements into their cell walls. Concussions and similar accelleration traumas are likely a thing of the past for the hosts.
The nanotubes appear to be biologically inert, in them at least. There's some modifications to their immune systems to ensure this.
With high levels of melanin in every cell, radiation blasts that would kill almost anything else on Earth make them warm, and might even be an energy source akin to photosynthesis. The only known organism that has this kind of capability is the black mould living inside the Chernobyl plant. Based on the order of events, the melanin production must have started in deeper tissues first, and only activated in the skin when the Moonscape Protocol was initiated.
Celestes conversion tech has also produced an entirely new organelle that greatly enhances DNA repair. Figuring out how this works will take some time.
Armchair oriented carbon nanotubes are integrated into the cell walls of nerve cells, especially myelinated nerves. This increases the speed of the nerve responses.
The mitochondrial replacement organelle (MRO) doesn't make a lot of sense to anybody. It appears to be getting free energy from nowhere. This is of great concern to physicists. The organelle contains a complex nanomachine comprised of metalic hydrogen, impossibly heavy elements, and other strangeness.
Respiration and Vacuum
While in vacuum the free energy produced by the new mitochondrial replacement organelles (MRO) was sufficient to provide energy to all the body's cells. CO2 did build up in their systems, but very slowly compared to normal metabolism. Based on their self reports and tests holding their breath, the hosts could likely survive in a vacuum for an hour with limited ill effects, and up to two hours with increasing imparement.
The new organelles have new stretches of synthetic DNA. The new code is elegant and very well constructed, but not directly derived from anything alive on Earth.
For better of worse, the Celestes technology does not use the AppStore Proteome Virtualization Upgrade genetic package as a foundation for other changes. The inventors of the technology are ideologically ambivalent about genetic alterations that are not heritable. There is an operating system installed by the Celestes installation program, but outside of the people who created it, the way it works is not understood.
Miranda found out from Ralston that Celestes technology was created by Genetek, a multinational specializing in genetic enhancements. Although they are a rival MNC to Boeing, Miranda is very surprised to not be aware of this work. Later, Storm revealed that the MRO had been stolen by Manwe. Now no one knows the actual inventor.
Infection and Development
Once a MRO delivery virus is constructed it requires a living human host to remain viable. Boeing stole it from Genetek in transit: it was implanted in a blastocyst in an artificial womb. This kept it in the replication phase for several hours before a human host was required.
- Replication: It appears to invade the digestive tract first, taking advantage of the rapidly reproducing cells to generate huge numbers of virii. This phase appears to take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours, depending on the host. Subjects DH and AJ responded four times more quickly than RC, and about twice as quickly as GH.
- Integration: These proceed to invade all other tissues, including nerves. During this phase the genetic packages are spliced into the host genome, but the genes are not activated.
- Activation: At some point a critical mass is reached, possibly triggered by an as-yet unknown hormone, and the new genes activate.
- Modification: Most significant side effects appear to stem from metabolic disruption, especially in the brain and digestive tract. Vomiting, convulsions, mania, depression, unconsciousness, and paranoia have all been observed. Enhanced toughness and strength along with increased melanin production appear to be the first major physiological alterations.
It is not clear what effect the carbon nanotubes have on the operation of nerve cells. Reaction times for all four hosts are unusually fast, but still inside human elite performance. Given their professions and personal histories it is believed that their nervous system is operating more quickly than before the Celestes technology modified their nerves. At this time evidence is not conclusive.