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Mechanical augmentation

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GuntherHermann2

Gunther Hermann, one of UNATCO's first "mech-augs".


In an effort to secure freedom and liberty for those under their protection, many UNATCO agents have chosen to sacrifice social acceptance for mission performance by surgically replacing limbs and organs with mechanically or electronically enhanced equivalents.
- MedDirectorate, Deus Ex

Mechanical augmentation involves the use of cybernetics in order to improve or replace certain human body parts. It is the progression from basic limb prosthetics with the distinguishing feature being that the machinery and robotics interface directly with the central nervous system as opposed to the ends of peripheral nerves. It was the first method of augmentation which allowed people to assume superhuman abilities, albeit not without limitations, the most salient downsides being the individuals suffering from extreme physical and mental pain, and reliance on the anti-rejection drug Neuropozyne and painkillers all their life, if not equipped with the X1 biochip. With research beginning as early as the 2000s, mechanical augmentations became widespread during the 2020s. It was the predecessor and research template to physiopharmaceutical augmentation and the much more advanced nanotechnological augmentation.

BackgroundEdit

DevelopmentEdit

The main obstacle in mechanical augmentation was finding the perfect interface between man and machine. While external prosthetics can be made from hypoallergenic materials, there was no such luxury when implanting devices in the brain. Early augmentation projects addressed human diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, where patients had metal electrodes inserted into their brains to stop the tremors. While successful, the unfortunate side effect of using stiff metal electrodes was their vulnerability to impacts caused by bodily movements. This caused tissue injury and compromised the device's effectiveness.

Darrow Industries pioneered the PEDOT cluster array to create the machine-cell hybrid device known as the biochip that was made from organic materials. This was considered revolutionary at the time and was even published in prominent journals. The basis of the biochip was to use PEDOT, an organic conducting polymer, for the electrodes, which were attached to artificial neurons grown specifically for the device. The entire biochip would then be implanted in the host's brain and because of the PEDOT cluster's entirely organic construction and its neuron-neuron interface, would be less prone to side effects. One such device is the R7 biochip, designed by Sarif Industries. The only downside to the biochip is the issue of glial tissue build up around the PEDOT cluster, which is detectable by elevated levels of cytotoxic-M and DDS-Y enzymes in the matrix. Not only does this compromise the effectiveness of the biochip, it can lead to rejection, also known as Darrow Deficiency Syndrome. The only way to prevent rejection is to take Neuropozyne, which breaks down the build-up of glial tissue.

The X1 prototype biochip also designed by Sarif Industries would address the issue of glial tissue build up. The PEDOT cluster array used in the X1 biochip incorporates a mutagenic chemical that was isolated from the DNA strands of Patient X. The nature of this chemical is not explained but is apparently harmless, contrary to its description as a mutagen. When the mutagenic chemical is added to the PEDOT cluster of the biochip, within 24 hours, the PEDOT cluster is encapsulated in a thick coating of neural tissue that prevents the PEDOT cluster's ability to elicit the glial build-up response. Research on the X1 biochip was due to be presented in Washington DC in 2027, but the head researcher of Sarif Industries was killed prior to the conference. It was heavily implied in the research notes entitled Composite Study 07121969 - Final Test Results that the artificial neurons of future PEDOT clusters would be grown using segments of Patient X's DNA in an effort to naturally produce this mutagenic compound.

While many legitimate biotechnology firms worldwide, like Sarif Industries, exist to develop mechanical augmentations for different uses ranging from civilian to military applications, some companies such as Tai Yong Medical and VersaLife conduct illegal and inhumane experimentation on detainees and civilians. Such secret developments have occurred at black sites such as Rifleman Bank Station and the Omega Ranch.

Socio-politicalEdit

Despite the apparent benefits that augmentations could bring to humans, there was widespread belief that the technology could be abused. Having become commonplace in the 2020s, there was a social rift emerging between augmented and non-augmented human beings. Denouncers of augmentation can be seen dressed in modern clothing, while supporters can be seen dressed in Renaissance-inspired attire. Prominent persons advocating against the use of augmentations in humans included William Taggart, the head of Humanity Front, and Ezekiel Sanders, the head of Purity First. While these two individuals had personal reasons for denouncing augmentations, many people felt that augmentations would usurp the social order, as the mechanically augmented can accomplish more than regular people, eliminating the need for natural skill or talent.

Early mechanical augmentation mostly took the form of prosthetics that completely replaced limbs, but by the 2050s many mechanical augmentations had been developed to smaller devices, such as implants that would release steroids or prosthetics that replaced small parts of limbs. By 2052, clinics still offered augmentation work, mostly performed by bots. Extensive mechanical  augmentation, hinted to replace as much as 90% of the human body, had become rare, but also expensive in terms of maintenance. 

Neuropozyne is not an issue of the time - It is possible that between 2028 and 2051 Sarif Industries released the X1 biochip to manufacturing. 

In the 2050s, the emergence of the nano-augmented, most notably Paul Denton who was inaugurated by the United Nations as the "first nanotechnologically-augmented agent", began rendering mechanical augmentations obsolete. Despite central authorities trying to advocate that it was not obsolete, physicians - like Jaime Reyes, expressed otherwise. Similar to the inferiority complex experienced by non-augmented individuals in the 2020s in comparison to their mechanically-augmented brethren, a rift was forming between nanotechnologically-augmented and mechanically-augmented individuals based on the latter's inhuman appearance and rejection by society.

After 2052, nanotechnological augmentations started to become increasingly widespread and, by 2072, it had completely supplanted mechanical augmentation.

NotesEdit

  • The field of science that aims to integrate mechanical elements, electronics, and parts of biological organisms together in the real world is called biomechatronics. A fact that is acknowledged in an ebook about Hugh Darrow.

List of mechanical augmentationsEdit

Cochlear ImplantsEdit

Location: Cranium
Description: Cochlear implants surgically implanted in the mech-aug cochlea with sonic sensors, giving to the mech-aug the auditory ability to listen for sonic transducers emitted by beams, planted grenades and mines
Effect: Allow the mech-aug to listen for sonic transducers emitted by beams, planted grenades and mines
Functioning: Passive
Appearance: Deus Ex (Anna Navarre)

Icarus Landing SystemEdit

Location: Back
Description: A discreet mechanical augmentation surgically implanted in the mech-aug lower back, slightly above the coccyx at the base of the vertebral column. The device has an accelerative descent sensor built in. In freefall, the unit will automatically activate the patented high-fall safeguard system, an EMF decelerator generating a fixed-focus electromagnetic lensing field, projected downward along the plane of the drop. This field pushes against the Earth's magnetosphere and slows the mech-aug's descent to a manageable velocity that allows the mech-aug to drop from heights above 10 meters (32 feet) without incurring physical damage with a relatively soft landing
Effect: Prevent death or serious injury when falling from extreme heights
Functioning: Passive
Level 1: Allow the mech-aug to land safely from heights above 10 meters (32 feet)
Level 2: With a descent velocity modulator, the Icarus Landing System can also stun nearby enemies upon landing by an execution order on the part of the mech-aug
Appearance: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

List of mechanically augmented individualsEdit

Deus ExEdit

Deus Ex: Invisible WarEdit

  • No humans, as mechanical augmentation is considered impractical and obsolete since the advent of nano-augmentation. However, it is used on dogs to create cyberdogs and baboons to create rucks.

Deus Ex: Human RevolutionEdit

GalleryEdit

Deus ExEdit

Deus Ex: Human RevolutionEdit

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