Verus

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Deterrence
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Verus

Post by Deterrence » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:24 am




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Verus
Emissary of the Electronic Empyrean


In the 21st Century, history was forever changed by the advent of mass human inter-connectivity. The mind of mankind is linked through the internet, a collective consciousness woven from software and housed in mass data containment facilities. Everything changed. National borders and individual religions meant nothing before the new leviathan, as human experiences were now shared regardless of geographic affiliation. It's a new world, and it's bleeding into what the uninformed continue to refer to as reality.

The internet is now a synthetic universe where information was transmitted back and forth with the real one. Electioneering takes place over social media. Businesses deal in crypto-currency rather than national savings. Digital data breached the real world, with one able to look up information about anything in their immediate surroundings and project another layer of reality over it. What opinions do people have about that restaurant? Where is the nearest bank? Is that man armed? How is he best neutralized? Et cetera. Et cetera.

There are two human worlds now: the real, and the digital. By necessity, DETERRENCE operates in both. Only one man is fit to walk the line between mainframe and meat.

His codename is VERUS.

Information


Full name: Anthony John Hudson
Code name: VERUS
Standard Alias: Hud
Identity: Concealed
Occupation: Deterrence special agent - Cyberspace operations
Country of Origin: United States
Education: Comprehensive training in relevant fields
Age: 32
Height: 5'11
Weight: 225 lbs. (Cyborg augmentations increase weight)
Hair: Black
Eyes: Hazel-yellow
Base of Operations: Los Angeles.

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The Digital Devil

To Anthony Hudson, "human being" is a spectrum. When everything is reducible to information, the actual physical particulars seem to matter less. Call it post-capitalist nihilism, digital despondency, whatever. To him, it's simply apparent, an aspect of reality people attempt in vain to overlook while quantifiable data about their lives is collected, processed, and stored. The internet is a network of desires and interests sustained by capital growth, the tendency to expand and process key. Anthony sees humanity for what it is: a curious mass accelerating towards greater knowledge, accompanied by a desire to use that knowledge to fulfill basic pleasures. A consuming, self-replicating, self-reflective network that builds smaller networks to help it grow.

He wouldn't tell anyone, but he thinks it's rather remarkable.

On the outside, he's a cold steward of security, operating on the behalf of one of the world's first "hypercorporations," Deterrence. His allegiance to the group is not ideological, but rather, pragmatic - they are intent on protecting mankind, and so is he. He sees them as the evolution of the state from an organism guided by popular desires into one informed by power, a power informed by greater wisdom. His deep knowledge of their secretive STRONG AI experimentation leads him to ally with their company, both for the sake of cultivating the new project as well as preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.

In return, Deterrence engineers provided Anthony with his long-desired augmentations. He maintains himself, acting when called on as a messenger - stabilizing business, compelling security, et cetera, et cetera. Though he considers himself an extrovert, he's distant in person, almost always because his mind is off elsewhere in the infinite net, browsing, posting, or editing. Regular space bores him, as it's merely the substrate of what's possible online.

With technology, he is strong, rather than weak. It gives him unlimited control, which is unlimited freedom. With it he will be immortal, as long as he helps Deterrence take care of their errands. Pretty good deal, if you ask him.

The promise of infinite utility, after all, is worth anything.

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Anthony is a man of average height and build who often wears dark-colored clothing. His skin is pale and his hair black, the distinctions between the two sharp. His hair is spiked, and he tends to wear his facial hair in an anchor beard style, further contributing to his cold, stark look. His collar is often worn high to deter interaction - he prefers not to engage with strangers at all, finding them dull. His face is usually blank, and though he is constantly aware of his surroundings, his thoughts are often elsewhere.

What is striking about Anthony is the extent of his cybernetic augmentations, which are easily visible. There is a hexagon-shaped scar over his left eye, the result of a wireless-communicative power-processor's insertion. Both of his eyes have been replaced by cybernetic copies, which appear to look like normal human eyeballs unless they are active. His temples bear comma-shaped frames which can deploy thin mirrored lenses over his eyes, which serve as shields.

Anthony's arms and legs are visibly upgraded. Matte black prosthetic limbs have replaced his standard human appendages, packed with advanced technology and an unsettling degree of strength. He moves with precision and grace, given the mechanized nature of his being. Every step is calculated, lending him a machine-like air. That's just the way he likes it, of course.

Capabilities


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In knowing contrast to Deterrence's humanity first attitude, Anthony represents the cutting-edge hybridization of man and machine, taking full advantage of the organization's bioengineering mastery to sculpt himself into a mechanical monster on any battlefield. Though he prefers not to get his hands dirty involving himself in the wars of proles, he is nonetheless capable of dealing incredible harm to any who would stand in his way.

The structure of his cybernetic body is key to his success. Anthony's skeleton is comprised of reinforced carbon nanotubes aligned to simulate human anatomy. Parts of his skin have been laced with translucent 3D-printed graphene. These ultra-durable sinews were printed and stacked atop each other until they perfectly resembled standard human flesh, albeit far more resilient. What remains of his organic self has been rendered almost obsolete by his further augmentations. His body has been optimized for maximal performance, no longer requiring nutrition or oxygen save for that simulated and created to keep his brain running. He can, of course, deactivate his pain receptors in combat. He can cloak himself from sight using adaptive camouflage similar to the type built into Special Agents' Miracle Suits.

The entire system is connected via fiber-optic network, rendering him immune to attacks meant to simply shut down mechanized targets. His base form can complete all human functions, such as breathing or eating, though these functions can be auto-disabled at any time should they come under attack. Anthony no longer has blood; instead, a translucent info-transporting fluid lubricates his internals, tempered by sub-dermal weak nanomachines. This fluid can conserve power by sending information chemically rather than electrically, as in any standard human body. There is actually no metal in his body - rather, most exotic augments are composed of either specialized plastics or carbon compounds.

Anthony's superb machine-aided reflexes are said to be such that he can dodge bullets at close range, the mechanical precision of his body working in conjunction with his chemically-enhanced brain to process the world at incomprehensible speeds. As such, even "unarmed," he is among the most lethal beings alive, capable of slicing with his fingers, shattering skulls with a gentle squeeze, and throwing any conventional item with enough speed and accuracy so as to make it lethal. His mechanical feet can open, becoming gripping claws for use in either combat or traversal. These "boost legs" make him highly acrobatic. He can exert himself for extended periods of time without tiring.

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Possessing the superior, stable version of the original prototype augment given to affiliate Glenn Henshaw [TERMINATED], Anthony is essentially linked to a powerful supercomputer at all times, running parallel to his ordinary thoughts and capable of interacting with other systems. A combination of software and wetware, it ironed out the bugs which plagued the original test subject, including mania and transcendental ideation. Further, it links directly to Anthony's senses, so rather than existing as a separate intelligence within his mind, it is part of the same being as he.

This parallel AI is one of the most advanced on the planet, though it has been "gutted" to serve not as a thinking / strategic type, but rather, a processing type. As such, it can navigate cyberspace with ease on Anthony's command, transporting his conscious experience to a digital world visualized as being like the real one for convenience. From this "software acropolis" Anthony can interact with pure information, decoding and re-ordering any data he comes into contact with. This can be done as easily as thinking, his brain emitting signals which can then interact with the world around him.

The use of acoustic spoofing, signal highjacking, or even direct manual uplink (for hard-to-crack security) enables Anthony to infiltrate any digital mainframe, absconding with information or altering programs as easily as a man might tie his shoes. Further, it gives him access to comprehensive information readouts during any situation, combining with his augmented senses to easily derive truths about his external world. Anthony can sense someone's heartbeat to test if they're lying, or detect tension in their muscles before they strike; he can also cross-reference available information with social media posts, bank accounts, and purchase history to investigate potential foes before they're even aware of his presence.

Anthony can alter his senses to account for potential "windows" in his surrounding environment, i.e. looking through security camera lenses or hearing through microphones. Essentially, he can meld with his the battlefield, any connected "cloud" a potential vector for his consciousness to infect and operate. This makes him highly dangerous - he is essentially a man who can "ghost" himself into a digital virus, operating machines casually with only his mind.

His brain implant requires routine maintenance in order to remain functional. He typically requires prolonged periods of rest in order to recover from strenuous activity in cyberspace.

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As a cleared affiliate of Deterrence, Anthony enjoys access to the array of special weaponry they provide. He is fond of the PKD .38, often affixing a silencer to the end of the barrel. Given the nature of his work, which typically involves espionage, he sticks to lower-profile weapons, eschewing the use of explosive munitions, for instance, in favor of precise devices.

Unlike most combatants, Anthony's combat ability is not strictly skill-based. His lethality derives entirely from his augmented mind and body working in conjunction to emulate skill, in the sense that he is able to accomplish most any feat of accuracy, but without actually aiming by practice. Instead, his machine reflexes do the shooting for him, resulting in deadly aim.

Anthony's eyes boast the same Third Eye augmentation common to Deterrence elite agents. This powerful system can render a full 3D map of Anthony's immediate surroundings in mere moments, peering through walls and detecting unusual signatures by means of a myriad of sensory systems. The Third Eye can even detect the more esoteric energy signatures denoting the presence of magic and psychic phenomena.

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Anthony's extensive cybernetic augmentations work in conjunction with his database of complex skills and maneuvers in order to transform him into a hurricane of death in close-quarters scenarios. In dangerous situations he acts on autopilot, whirling towards enemies to close the distance before going to work with a pair of graphene nano-ceramic extendable blades. These blades can cut through nearly any conventional material and are exceedingly durable. Anthony can vibrate the blades at different frequencies in order to increase their cutting power, slicing through hardened materials like warm butter. The blades can also be fired like spears from his forearms for a surprise attack, or as a last resort.

A strong set of predictive algorithms enable Anthony to engage unorthodox fighters. Enemies who move invisibly can be accounted for not only by heat sensing or sonic detection, but predicting their movements. The same can be said for enemies who move faster than the eye can follow; trajectory calculations enable the Digital Devil to compensate for their hyper-quick movements. Advanced martial artists, too, fall victim to his deceptively accurate counter-movements, each run through simulation after simulation in compressed time to deal with a foe's attacks.

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In addition to using externalized weaponry, Anthony has built-in combat tools at his constant disposal. His right arm can transform into a potent acoustic pulse cannon, similar to the FCG Amp wielded by Deterrence Knights. In the span of 1.2 seconds, his palm transforms into the compound diamond emitter, the outer fingers directing the blasts and compensating for environmental conditions. This sonic weapon can easily drill through solid steel, or on lower settings, simply incapacitate foes with a concussive burst. A sustained shot can completely pulp the internals of an organic target - which is particularly threatening when one remembers that sound can propagate easily through armor.

The left arm can transform into a miniaturized XOF3 "Front Line"-type submachine gun. Miniaturized homing-burst ammunition can combined with mag-accelerated rounds enable the cyborg to engage so-called invulnerable threats, chipping away at exonormal skin with successive shots. The anti-material rounds can be turned on vehicles and armored foes just as effectively, piercing all manner of cover with ease. His computerized brain's ability to direct the shots makes this weapon a potent anti-speedster weapon as well. Unfortunately, the compact nature of the gun means that he can only fire two clips before relying on external ammunition.

Additionally, the cooldown times for both of Anthony's prosthetic-type weapons are longer, given that his limbs need time to recover from the strain of firing such powerful ammunition. For this reason he tends to rely on external weaponry.

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Given his capacity to subsist in anaerobic environments as well as his easily-repaired internals, it's natural that Anthony be contracted to test out prototype technology for the Security Nation. A combination of NNF gel and self-expanding nano-fullerene armor, this "liquid coating" can be released from Anthony's body to coat his entire form in seconds, a portable emergency shield hardening around his form in moments. The non-reactive material prevents the propagation of radiation, protecting Anthony from laser-based, acoustic, and nuclear attacks at the expense of shutting down his most critical ability - the power to connect electronically to his environment. Further, it restricts his movement entirely until it is manually deactivated from the inside.

Despite these drawbacks, the rapidly-expanding artificial diamond exterior enables the Digital Devil to survive even the most harrowing situations, even if it can only be deployed once per mission. Efforts to make the tools available to standard agents are underway.


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