| "I once thought I could save the world... now look at it"
— Spoilers for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follow!
|"In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?"|
|- Adam Jensen, Deus Ex: Human Revolution|
Mechanical augmentation involves the use of cybernetics in order to improve or replace human body parts. It is distinguished from basic limb prosthetics in that they interface directly with the central nervous system, as opposed to just the ends of peripheral nerves.
With technological advancement, it soon became the first method of augmentation which allowed people to assume superhuman abilities, albeit not without limitations. The most concerning of these is the body's rejection of the augmentations, known as Darrow Deficiency Syndrome. The only known way to counteract this is for the affected individual to take the anti-rejection drug, Neuropozyne, for the rest of their lives or else suffer from migraines, seizures, or even death.
With research beginning as early as the 2000s, mechanical augmentations became widespread by the 2020s. It was the predecessor and research template to physiopharmaceutical augmentation and the much more advanced nanotechnological augmentation that came into use by the 2050s.
Technological Development Edit
Early Development Edit
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.
In 2002, Darrow Industries made a breakthrough that would revolutionize augmentations: they pioneered the PEDOT cluster array to create a biocompatible matrix device known as the biochip. 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 into the host's brain and, because of the PEDOT cluster's entirely organic construction and its neuron to neuron interface, would be less prone to side effects. However, the biochips still suffered from glial tissue buildup around the PEDOT cluster, which is detectable by elevated levels of cytotoxic-M and DDS-Y enzymes in the matrix. Not only did this compromise the effectiveness of the biochip, but it could also lead to rejection, known as Darrow Deficiency Syndrome (DDS). To prevent this, augmented individuals had to take Neuropozyne, which broke down the buildup of glial tissue.
Even with all the groundbreaking advancements into mechanical augmentations, there remained a very small percentage of the population whose bodies would still reject them due to being genetically incompatible. Among these people was the father of mechanical augmentations himself, Hugh Darrow. To help with this, Darrow Industries published the first genetic compatibility test in 2011 to determine if an individual's body would accept or reject augmentations.
2020s Development Edit
By the 2020s, many biotechnology companies existed all over the world and were helping to advance mechanical augmentations, making them commonplace (but still controversial) in society. One such company, Sarif Industries, which had been founded in 2007 and had quickly grown to become one of the major biotech companies by 2027, was on the verge of a breakthrough.
Despite it being over 20 years since the first biochip had been developed, nobody had yet figured out how to prevent the glial tissue buildup that ultimately led to rejection if Neuropozyne was not taken. This all changed when Sarif Industries' head researcher, Megan Reed, created the X1 biochip prototype with her team. Unlike previous biochips, the X1 biochip's PEDOT cluster incorporated a mutagenic chemical composition that was isolated from the DNA strands of Patient X. After six weeks of testing against a regular biochip, the team discovered that not only did the X1 biochip have no noticeable glial tissue buildup, but it also appeared to strengthen its neural connections, meaning Neuropozyne would no longer be necessary.
However, mechanical augmentation was still a controversial subject in society, with people evenly split on pushing for or against them. Due to this, Reed and her team were scheduled to present and defend their research on the X1 biochip in Washington D.C. in 2027. If successful, they could pave the way for everyone to be safely augmented with no drawbacks. Unfortunately, the night before they were due in Washington D.C., Sarif Industries Headquarters was attacked and Reed and her team kidnapped, though it was made to look like they had been killed. As a result, their findings never went public.
Clandestine Development Edit
While many legitimate biotech companies, like Sarif Industries (and presumably Isolay and Caidin Global) developed mechanical augmentations using standard research procedures, some companies, like Tai Yong Medical, conducted illegal and inhumane experiments on detainees and kidnapped civilians. With help from VersaLife, TYM used the black site, Rifleman Bank Station, for ongoing research into the Hyron Project. Detainees were experimented on against their will and, if found compatible, operated on to such an extent that even if they survived the surgery, they would typically die within a year once connected to the Hyron.
Anyone who was not compatible with the Hyron Project was then sent to another black site, Omega Ranch, which was owned by Hugh Darrow. Here, further experiments were carried out, with the subjects ultimately dying from various complications. Sarif Industries' kidnapped scientists had been taken here and, using Reed's research, made to work on a biochip that would limit the abilities of augmented people.
Post-Aug Incident Development Edit
After the Aug Incident in 2027, the UN took advantage of the crisis and passed the Taggart Act, which strictly regulated and restricted the mechanical augmentation industry. This act, combined with the aftermath of the Aug Incident, caused nearly every biotech company to collapse, except for TYM, allowing the Illuminati backed company to finally absorb all the rest. Near the end of 2028, the company announced a dampening chip that would make augs "safe again." Meanwhile, one of TYM's former scientists, Vadim Orlov, helped develop several experimental TITAN augmentations, like the Nanoblade, TESLA, and Titan Shield, before leaving the company.
2050s Development Edit
By the 2050s, many mechanical augmentations had been developed into smaller devices, such as implants that would release steroids or prosthetics that replaced small limb parts. By 2052, clinics offered augmentations, but extensive mechanical augmentation, hinted to replace as much as 90% of the human body, had become rare and expensive to maintain. It's believed that sometime between 2029 and 2052, a cure was finally made publicly available to prevent DDS as Neuropozyne is no longer needed. With the emergence of nano-augmentation in the 2050s, mechanical augmentation was on its way to becoming obsolete and by 2072 it was completely replaced by nano-augmentation.
Effects on Society Edit
2020s (Pre-Aug Incident) Edit
By the 2020s, a social rift began to emerge between augmented and non-augmented citizens as, while mechanical augmentation had become widespread, there was still a significant opposition to it that believed the technology could be abused, despite the apparent benefits it brought. Additionally, black markets started to arise around mechanical augmentations in the form of illegal clinics and unlicensed or stolen augmentations. Harvesters became known and feared for kidnapping augs off the streets then "harvesting" their augmentations to be put on the black market, killing the person in the process.
Several prominent people advocating against the use of augmentations included William Taggart, the head of Humanity Front, and Ezekiel Sanders, the head of the radical organization, Purity First. While these two individuals had personal reasons for denouncing augmentations, few realized Taggart was actually pushing the Illuminati's views as, with the change in social order that comes with technological advancement, it meant losing control over the masses. However, the Illuminati was secretly working on plans so they could control augmented people with a modified biochip, allowing them to limit an augmented person's abilities when needed.
In 2027, tensions continued to build, with Sarif Industries being attacked twice in 6 months and William Taggart's assistant killed by an augmented faction, which was secretly orchestrated by the Illuminati to push the UN to consider regulations on augmentations. This all came to a head when Picus (an Illuminati controlled corporation) released satellite footage claiming to be images of tortuous experiments being performed on augmented super soldiers. This, in turn, caused widespread rioting around the world, with many of it concentrated around biotech companies, like Sarif Industries.
With the world in chaos over mechanical augmentations, the Illuminati had WHO do a recall, claiming recent glitches were being caused by a malfunctioning biochip. In reality, they were intentionally causing them so that augmented individuals would have their biochips replaced with a modified version that would allow the Illuminati to control them.
Seeing how his invention drastically changed the world, and being called on to say something in all the ensuing chaos, Hugh Darrow finally came forth to speak and invited hundreds of notable people to Panchaea, including David Sarif and William Taggart. Despite being an Illuminatus, Darrow went against the group's intentions and, on live TV, broadcasted a signal that caused those with the modified biochip to go crazy and start attacking and killing everyone around them. By the time his signal was shut down the damage had already been done, with 50 million people dead and countless others injured.
Post Aug Incident Edit
After the signal was shut down, Panchaea collapsed under the ocean's pressure and all information on the signal was either obscured or destroyed. This allowed the Illuminati to spin the media to blame augs for all the deaths, and the world began to move against them after what became known as the Aug Incident.
By 2028, cities that once welcomed augs, like Prague, had started to discriminate and treat them like second-class citizens by requiring them to have travel papers and permits, go through additional security checkpoints, ride separate trains, and, in some cases, be denied business services. Many could not afford the costs of acquiring the permits and, as a result, aug ghettos started to spring up, like Prague's Golem City and Dresden's Glasshütte, where poverty and poor living conditions were rampant, police brutality was a common sight, and Neuropozyne supplies were kept artificially low to control the aug population. This caused the formation of several aug rights groups, with the largest faction being the Augmented Rights Coalition led by Talos Rucker. Originally formed before the Incident to help newly augmented people adjust, it reorganized itself to peacefully protest the violations against augs around the world. Despite this, many anti-aug groups claimed ARC was a terrorist organization and blamed them for several attacks. It did not help matters when Rucker moved into Golem City itself, making it the de facto headquarters for ARC, which many saw as a move to recruit embittered members prone to causing more attacks against naturals.
In early 2029, things became more heated when the Illuminati, through a series of carefully orchestrated events, caused several augmented terrorists' attacks within the span of a few days, including using augmented children as bombs and the kidnapping of a well known anti-aug reporter, Titus King. Fueled by these actions, they had their politicians push for the UN to consider United Nations Resolution 3507, better known as the Human Restoration Act, which called for the removal or downgrading of unlicensed or overly powered augmentations. It also wanted to push for augs to have to carry official papers about their augmentations and be required to have a control chip implanted. If any individual refused, they were to be removed and put into a segregated housing facility.
To try and make sure it passed, the Illuminati implanted a mole, Viktor Marchenko, into ARC to frame the group for a wave of terrorist's attacks. Secretly using some resentful ARC members that wanted to take action, Marchenko had them attack several areas in Prague, including bombing Růžička Station. Rucker, who had suspected the power struggle within the organization was being caused by the attackers, had started to investigate and found evidence someone within ARC was trying to undermine their peaceful approach, but before he could learn more he was killed by Marchenko under the Illuminati's orders. With nobody else in the way, Marchenko then took over ARC.
However, the Illuminati felt they needed one final push, so they turned their attention towards the well-known billionaire, Nathaniel Brown, who was a strong advocate against the Human Restoration Act and, unlike Rucker, had the power and money to prevent it from passing. Brown, intent on swaying UN members to say no to the act, decided to hold a conference, known as the Safe Harbour Initiative, in London. When the Illuminati learned of the time and place where it was being held, they had Marchenko infiltrate the building using their augmented soldiers to try and kill Brown and the UN delegates.
With the emergence of nanotechnological augmentation, mechanical augmentations started to become obsolete. Similar to the social divide in the 2020s between non-augmented and augmented people, a rift was forming between nano-augmented and mechanically augmented individuals due to the latter's inability to blend in with others and thus, rejected by society, while nano-augmented were not due to their augmentations being discreet.
Mechanically Augmented IndividualsEdit
- 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.
- Many others, as mechanical augmentation is the only commercial form of augmentation in 2027
- Many others, as mechanical augmentation is the only commercial form of augmentation in 2027
- Many others, as mechanical augmentation is the only commercial form of augmentation in 2029 (though it has been heavily lobbied against and is now considered a social stigma by many)
- 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.
Deus Ex: Human RevolutionEdit
Deus Ex: Mankind DividedEdit
- ↑ the eBook Neural Interface Protocols: The PEDOT Revolution
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Timeline on the official Deus Ex website
- ↑ the eBook Composite Study 07121969 -- FINAL TEST RESULTS
- ↑ the eBook AJ09-0921 Patient X
- ↑ Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
- ↑ The Picus Daily Standard (DXHR) Issue 11
- ↑ Deus Ex Mankind Divided - 101 Trailer