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Table of contents :
About the Author
1. Background and Role
The NKKC in Japanese Society
Mission and Jurisdiction
Area of Operation
2. Structure and Resources
The NKKC at a Glance
Uniforms and Insignia
Rewards and Punishments
Ghost Kyushutsu Operative
Bioroid Kyushutsu Operative
Human Kyushutsu Operative
4. Tools of the Trade
Aibo (Partner) Rescue Suit
Perk: Provides Own (Advantage) to Wearer
Kikko (Turtle Shell) Rescue Suit
Tenryu Rescue Cybershell
Drop Ships (TL10)
5. Campaigns and Adventures
Even One More
Working With the NKKC
The NKKC as a Problem
Written by DAVID CHART Edited by PHIL MASTERS Editorial Assistance by JASON “PK” LEVINE Illustrated by MATT KRESGE and DAN SMITH Additional Material by ROGER BURTON WEST (spacecraft designs) and PHIL MASTERS (new bioroid templates) GURPS System Design ❚ STEVE JACKSON GURPS Line Editor ❚ SEAN PUNCH Managing Editor ❚ PHILIP REED Assistant GURPS Line Editor ❚ JASON “PK” LEVINE Production Artist & Indexer ❚ NIKOLA VRTIS Art Direction ❚ MONICA STEPHENS
e23 Manager ❚ STEVEN MARSH Marketing Director ❚ LEONARD BALSERA Director of Sales ❚ ROSS JEPSON Prepress Checker ❚ NIKKI VRTIS Page Design ❚ PHIL REED and JUSTIN DE WITT GURPS FAQ Maintainer ❚ VICKY “MOLOKH” KOLENKO
Playtesters: Peter V. Dell’Orto and William H. Stoddard GURPS, Warehouse 23, and the all-seeing pyramid are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Transhuman Space, Wings of the Rising Sun, Pyramid, e23, and the names of all products published by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated are registered trademarks or trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, or used under license. Transhuman Space: Wings of the Rising Sun is copyright © 2014 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All rights reserved. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this material via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
An e23 Sourcebook for GURPS ®
STEVE JACKSON GAMES Stock #37-6714
Version 1.0 – January 2014
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 About GURPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Area of Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Oversight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . 7
ROLE . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
ORGANIZATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Kyushutsu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Kakuho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Kenkyu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Jimu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The NKKC at a Glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Hodobu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Foundation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The NKKC in Japanese Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
MISSION AND JURISDICTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Political Support. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
STAFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Manpower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Uniforms and Insignia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Rewards and Punishments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
LOCATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Morioka Honcho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Tanegashima Shicho. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fujimiya Shicho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Tokyo Shicho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Usaginokoya Shicho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Hakenshitsu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Kana Syllables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3. OPERATIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Desirable Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Prohibited Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
CHARACTER TEMPLATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Ghost Kyushutsu Operative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Bioroid Kyushutsu Operative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Rodosha Bioroid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Xenocop Bioroid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Human Kyushutsu Operative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Kenkyu Researcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Hodobu Memeticist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
TRADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Aibo (Partner) Rescue Suit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Perk: Provides Own (Advantage) to Wearer . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Kikko (Turtle Shell) Rescue Suit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Tenryu Rescue Cybershell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Microbot Swarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Drop Ships (TL10). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Hakenshitsu (TL10). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
ADVENTURES . . . . . . . 23
Even One More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Working With the NKKC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The NKKC as a Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
INTRODUCTION Mitch ran toward his home through the ruined streets of Pearl Harbor, smoke rising from buildings in the December sun. Sirens both virtual and real screamed in his head, but he ignored them. Weaving along the buckled road, he kept half an eye on his implant’s status updates as it searched for a functioning connection or any news from his family. The display flashed red as it changed. Katarina Mullins: Living. Medical attention required. No communication link. May Mullins: Living. Urgent medical attention required. No communication link. Hope and fear both surged, and Mitch forced an extra bit of speed out of his legs. He had to get them out before the second wave hit. The sirens were drowned out by a roar, like thunder, and Mitch’s AI was already opening an emergency channel as he looked up into a sky suddenly full of drop ships and cybershells, the Rising Sun shining on their wings. He almost cried with relief.
NKKC operatives are sent out to save people from disasters, and then return to base to wait for the next crisis, making the agency an excellent background for an episodic campaign, or for one-off adventures. In many ways, they are similar to special forces, except that they are unarmed and save lives rather than ending them. Characters in an NKKC campaign could visit anywhere on Earth, try to rescue people in LEO, or be stationed on Luna. The NKKC’s memetics division is also very active, and could drag the characters into occasional political adventures.
You put yourself in danger to save people, and in return you get the respect and admiration of most of the world.
In 2100, the Nihon Kinkyu Kyushutsu Cho (NKKC), Japan Emergency Rescue Agency, is dedicated to rescuing people all over the world from disasters. Known as the Wings of the Rising Sun, they can reach any disaster on earth in minutes, and have permission to intervene in almost any country. The agency’s budget is slightly larger than that of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), and its operatives have access to the best technology available. Nevertheless, disasters are chaotic, and not even the NKKC can save everyone. As their motto says, they do their best to save “even one more.”
David Chart has lived in Japan since 2003, and currently lives just west of Tokyo. All that happened to him in the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 was that he had to walk for six hours to get home, but the devastation in northeastern Japan inspired this supplement. This is his first GURPS or Transhuman Space supplement, but he is the Line Editor for Ars Magica, from Atlas Games.
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BACKGROUND AND ROLE The Nihon Kinkyu Kyushutsu Cho (NKKC) is extraordinary, even in the Transhuman Space setting, in its size and the
range of its operations. The first thing to explain is how this came about.
HISTORY The natural environment of Japan is not gentle. The country suffers more earthquakes than any other, has several active volcanoes, and faces over a dozen typhoons every year, while even in “normal” weather over 12” of rain can fall overnight. As a result, natural disasters are an annual occurrence, and the government has had plans and organizations in place to respond for centuries. In the late 20th and early 21st century, the primary responsibility for first response lay with the fire service and Self-Defense Forces.
In 2023, Yuina Takahashi, a new member of one of the rescue squads, refused to attend the firing range. She was brought before a disciplinary tribunal, and refused to apologize. “Why should I waste my time learning to kill people?” she asked. “I joined to save lives.” She was dismissed from the SDF for insubordination. However, a journalist had attended the hearing, and Takahashi was a telegenic young woman; her dismissal turned into a major scandal, forcing the resignation of the defense minister, and prompting the foundation of the NKKC as a separate agency in 2025. Takahashi immediately signed up again, and served honorably for 50 years. The Defense Ministry held a grudge, but as a politically weak and unpopular ministry, it could do nothing against the NKKC.
FOUNDATION After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, Japan began looking again at its disaster response plans, and over the next few years parts of the Self-Defense Forces were trained more specifically in disaster response, and part of the selfdefense budget was devoted to procuring materiel specifically useful in rescue situations.
At first, the agency operated entirely within Japan, doing good work and building its reputation. In 2044, however, the Taiwan Autonomous Region faced a super-typhoon, and asked Japan to send NKKC resources to help evacuate people. The NKKC was extremely effective, and the death toll from the typhoon was zero, despite extensive flooding and wind damage. In the press conference afterward, the head of the agency said that Japan was happy to extend assistance to any country that asked for it, in a speech that is a now a standard textbook example of memetic engineering, as it was extremely successful. The NKKC reminded countries that it would not normally have time to ask permission to intervene after a disaster struck, and began lobbying for advance permission to help. In 2049, all members of the PRA formally granted that permission, and other countries did the same over the following decades. Plans for orbital dispatch stations, to allow swift response anywhere on Earth, had already been in hand, and the first station became operational in 2051.
nearly brought down the Syrian government, and made a lot of governments nervous. Only the Syrians actually withdrew permission for NKKC intervention, but a number of other states considered it, and the agency worked very hard to allay fears. One result was that the agency is now very strict about the confidentiality of anything that operatives see while rescuing people; leaking controversial or damaging information is grounds for discharge from the service. Hodobu is working hard on getting the Syrians to allow the NKKC back in, ideally before another disaster strikes and people die who could have been saved.
The NKKC responded to an earthquake near the Syrian city of Ar-Raqqah, and in the process found workers literally chained to their stations in some factories. The NKKC first accepted sapient infomorph and bioroid operatives in 2071, officially treating them exactly the same as human operatives. In practice, they were recruited even more actively than humans, because they are often better at rescue work, and the agency’s leadership saw them as essential to saving as many lives as possible. Nevertheless, numbers were very low (bioroids were new technology in the 2070s), and there was a significant amount of prejudice against them, even within the ordinary ranks of the agency, until the Great Seto Earthquake of 2081. In order to gain increased acceptance for these valuable operatives, the heroic actions of bioroid and infomorph operatives in saving lives there were widely publicized by Hodobu (the PR department), particularly the rescue of over 100 children from a partially collapsed school, a rescue carried out entirely by nonhuman operatives, and in which the majority of the agency’s nonhumans participated. This incident is also used as an example in memetics textbooks in Japan, and is believed to have contributed greatly to the transhumanist trend in current Japanese society (see Fifth Wave, p. 68). The constant link between operatives and the NKKC headquarters was known, but until the Ar-Raqqah Incident of 2085, it was not a problem. The NKKC responded to an earthquake near the Syrian city of Ar-Raqqah, and in the process found workers literally chained to their stations in some factories. The footage of these slave-labor conditions was available on the Web within hours of the end of the disaster response. The slaves were all freed, but the resulting scandal
TIMELINE 2025 – NKKC founded by splitting units off from the JSDF. 2044 – Faced with a super-typhoon, the Taiwan Autonomous Region asks Japan for NKKC aid. The NKKC operates outside Japan for the first time. 2049 – PRA members formally grant the NKKC permission to act in the event of a disaster in any country in the alliance. 2051 – First orbital dispatch station becomes operational. 2071 – First infomorph and bioroid operatives inducted. 2080 – Michiyo Motoyama is the first NKKC operative to undergo destructive uploading. She takes leave for the procedure, and returns to work afterward. The agency allows her to do so while it “clarifies her status.” This has yet to happen by 2100, by which time a number of ghosts are on active service. 2081 – Great Seto Earthquake strikes western Japan. Hiroshima is devastated, but the swift NKKC response keeps the death toll under 1,000. The PR department emphasizes the actions of bioroid and infomorph operatives. 2085 – Ar-Raqqah Incident. Responding to an earthquake in the northern Syrian city, operatives discover a factory running on slave labor, including adults, children, and bioroids. The feeds are released to the Web, causing a massive scandal that nearly brings down the Syrian government. In response, it forbids the NKKC from operating in Syria, and the NKKC strengthens its confidentiality rules. 2086 – The NKKC becomes active on Luna.
The NKKC in Japanese Society Japan in 2100 is rather detached from the rest of the world, and relies heavily on bioroids and automation (Fifth Wave, p. 67); the NKKC is actively engaged with the whole world and mainly employs humans. This is not a contradiction: The NKKC is exceptional within Japan. Several scholars, most notably Tadayuki Momose in A Bridge from Heaven, have formed a consensus regarding its role. First, the NKKC provides an entirely honorable way for those Japanese who want to get more involved in the world to do so, without getting Japan entangled in international politics. Isolationists oppose interventionism in principle, but even many of them sincerely support this particular version.
Second, some young Japanese aspire to an active life, and the NKKC gives them something to do. But the NKKC cannot take all of the qualified, young, human Japanese applicants it gets, an almost unique situation in the country. This is one factor in the human domination; the agency is reluctant to turn any more away than it has to. Human resources staff occasionally have to be reminded that “even one more” does not apply to the hiring policy. Finally, a lot of the people the NKKC has to save are from Third Wave societies, and are uncomfortable with sapient infomorphs or bioroids. Experience has shown that rescues go much more smoothly if most of the operatives on the scene at least look human.
The NKKC exists to save as many as lives as possible, and says it will act anywhere it can get to.
The NKKC exists to save as many as lives as possible, and says it will act anywhere it can get to. Its leadership constantly lobbies for the resources and vehicles necessary to get to more places.
PURPOSE Its operational guidelines define the NKKC’s purpose rather precisely, as getting people to a situation where they are not in imminent danger of death. Its operatives are not expected to
JURISDICTION provide medical care beyond first aid, nor to ensure supplies of food and water, although they do aim to get people to a place where they can reasonably expect to receive those things. There is no official definition of “person,” but in practice it includes anything sapient. Biological sapients are prioritized over infomorphs if a choice has to be made, because an infomorph probably has a backup. However, as that is not certain, operatives do rescue infomorphs if they can.
Political Support The NKKC has a slightly larger budget than the JSDF. How is this sold to the Japanese people? First, it is very difficult to publicly oppose saving lives. Now that the organization exists, abolishing it or forbidding it to operate overseas would seem uncaring. Every time someone suggests raising the JSDF’s budget over that of the NKKC, someone else asks, publicly, “Why should we spend more money on killing people than on saving them?” Hodobu no longer even needs to organize this. Second, the primary responsibility of the agency is to save lives in Japan, and it does so at least once a year. Hodobu ensures that no-one forgets this. Indeed, no more than half of the ready operatives are ever dispatched to a disaster outside Japan, ensuring that the agency can always respond to a domestic crisis. Third, it is a very powerful memetic weapon in Japan’s arsenal. One common meme is that “the NKKC has saved a thousand lives for every one the JSDF has ended”; this is debatable, so it never appears in official publications, but it reinforces the idea of Japan as peaceful and benevolent. The fact that the NKKC has a slightly larger budget than the JSDF is also carefully publicized, for the same reason. The activities of the NKKC across the world also show that Japan is not arrogantly isolationist. Many memetic textbooks use the NKKC as their example of “costly signaling” in memetics, where the resources required to create the meme guarantee that it is not a simple deception, and thus grant it additional force. Finally, the NKKC is supported by the lobbying power of the Japanese humanitarian-industrial complex. Its budget supports a lot of ancillary workers and businesses, as well as the large staff, and many older Japanese draw an income from investments in companies that supply the NKKC. Suggestions to cut it back are a sure vote-loser in the Diet.
The NKKC has to act before any government could give formal permission, so it responds to disasters in countries that have given permission in advance, and, if the disaster is large enough, in countries that have not formally told it to stay away. All members of the PRA have given advance permission, as have a large number of other countries, including most of the TSA, and orbital entities. Notable among the small number of countries that have told them to stay away are Kazakhstan and Syria; Japan is quietly lobbying Syria to lift the formal prohibition, imposed after the Ar-Raqqah incident. NKKC operatives can reach any location on the surface of the earth within 30 minutes, the first wave often arriving significantly sooner, and are almost as fast on Luna. Response in LEO can be very fast if the relative positions are right (in 2098, an unmodified human was rescued after being blown into space with no vacc suit), but NKKC craft cannot reach HEO or GEO in a reasonable time, and a significant volume of LEO is more than an hour away from the nearest team at any one point. Now that the presence on Luna is established, full coverage of Earth orbit is the next priority.
OVERSIGHT The NKKC is an independent office of the Japanese government, under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister. It must justify its actions to the Prime Minister and the Diet after the event, but the law governing it explicitly says that it need not seek permission in advance for anything. Within Japan, it is allowed to break any law with impunity while responding to a disaster, and its operatives have legal immunity within the PRA while on active service, a privilege extended de facto in most regions. The agency is well aware that these immunities would disappear if they were ever abused, and that complying with local regulations would make its job almost impossible. Any operative who strays from the mission is therefore subject to disciplinary procedures, even if their actions were legal.
STRUCTURE AND RESOURCES The NKKC is an enormous agency, larger than the militaries of many countries, and it has the resources, and bureaucracy, to match. As with a military organization, the operatives
on the front line have to be backed by logistics and technical specialists, and everyone needs bases and stations from which to work.
ORGANIZATION The NKKC has four main divisions: Kyushutsu (Rescue), Kakuho (Stabilization), Kenkyu (Research), and Jimu (Administration).
schematics, but nothing has ever been proved, or even made into a major scandal.
KYUSHUTSU The Kyushutsu division is responsible for rescuing people from natural disasters, and is the division that most people think of when they think of the NKKC. Its activities are discussed in detail later.
The largest division, Jimu provides administrative and logistical support for the other three divisions. Most members are human, although there are a handful of very important infomorphs, including the division head, and a significant number of bioroids in menial jobs.
The NKKC at a Glance
These operatives are responsible for the second line of rescue. They make sure that Role: Disaster First Response. the survivors of the disaster are in a stable Budget: $50 billion. situation, and are responsible for keeping Staff: 95,456 (human: 71,630; bioroid: 20,806; infomorph: 3,020). them alive until they can be handed over to Headquarters: Nihon Kinkyu Kyushutsu Cho Honcho (Morioka City, local bodies. When Kyushutsu pull someone Iwate Prefecture, Japan). out of a disaster, they take them to a Kakuho reception center before going back to rescue more people. About a third of Kakuho operatives are on active duty at any time, with a small majority based ODOBU on Earth, and the rest in orbit. Kakuho crew the transonic and The Hodobu, or Public Relations Department, is a very transatmospheric transports that take heavy equipment where important part of the NKKC. Formally part of Jimu, its offiit is needed. cial role is to ensure that the NKKC has permission to act in as many countries as possible, which it does by reinforcing the meme that the NKKC is an altruistic organization dediENKYU cated to saving lives. The fact that it is makes the job easier, The smallest division, Kenkyu is responsible for developbut not trivial, as any memeticist understands. Kyushutsu ing new technology to help the other divisions. They have a and Kakuho take anyone who can do the job, physically and larger budget than the military research departments of psychologically, and then Hodobu goes through looking for most countries, so the NKKC has the most advanced techoperatives from any division who fit the memetic profile to nology at its disposal. Kenkyu tries to license any technology serve as faces of the agency. Their choices are often photoit feels may be useful, but as it demands the right to develop genic and articulate, but not always; their memeticists are the technology on its own initiative, some companies are good, and the memes nuanced. reluctant. There have been rumors of illegal acquisition of
Hodobu cooperates with media organizations, both news and entertainment. It is very easy for entertainment organizations to get permission to use real NKKC equipment and locations, and Hodobu does not demand any control over the products. If the series reinforces the basic message, the producers find it easy to get repeat permission. Notoriously, a series of (officially unauthorized) pornographic slinkies featuring the NKKC were made in the mid ’90s; they portrayed the operatives as absolutely upstanding, and actually led to a noticeable boost in recruitment. (Some recent memetics textbooks use this as an example of how to exploit the media without being criticized for doing so.) However, children’s series featuring the NKKC, usually based on a team featuring a couple of operatives from the intended country of distribution, are far more popular, with at least one in production every year.
Recently, slinkies of NKKC rescue operations have appeared on the black market. They all show the NKKC in a good light, as the operatives risk their lives to save others, and they are exciting, with a significant following. Hodobu has issued official statements deploring the illegal distribution of the information, and pledging to find the source of the leak. The slinkies are genuine, and from multiple operatives, but that source is still, apparently, unknown. Finally, Hodobu is very open about how it does its memetic engineering, with the result that a lot of textbooks use its activities as examples, so just about anyone who has studied memetics has a positive view of the NKKC and its memeticists. The authors of the textbooks know that this is just further memetic engineering by Hodobu, but the examples are still too tempting.
STAFF The staff of the NKKC are called operatives in English, kyutaiin in Japanese. Although the NKKC is a branch of the Japanese government, operatives do not need to be Japanese citizens. The agency not only employs many bioroids and sapient AIs, neither of which qualify for full citizenship, but also employs foreign nationals. (Japanese society grants SAIs nearhuman status in many ways – see Fifth Wave, p. 68 – but the law does not fully reflect this, and other PRA nations are significantly less benevolent toward them.) The NKKC has no problem getting visas for foreigners it chooses to hire. There is no consistent discrimination in the NKKC, and the Kyusho First Class of Jimu is an SAI, Yuki Hikari. This does not prevent tensions at an individual level, of course.
to some extent, and so cannot simply be treated as tools (as NAIs are, extensively). For years, LAIs were active in a very ambiguous capacity (the NKKC has an institutional tendency to avoid clarifying rules unless it has to), but in 2092 the rules were clarified, and all associated LAIs were released from the agency, with pensions more than sufficient for an independent infomorph, and the assignment of their duties to themselves. Many are now under the guardianship of former operatives, particularly ones who have set up their own rescue teams. However, many in the agency would like to see the rule clarified in the other direction, so that LAIs could be operatives, albeit with little chance of promotion.
The NKKC seems to many outsiders to have a weird prejudice against LAIs, and employs very few. The current leadership seem to think that anything capable of making its own decisions should be an operative, but that LAIs are not (quite) up to handling this status. On the other hand, they are definitely sapient
Around 95,000 sapients work for the NKKC. Around 21,000 are bioroids, and about 3,000 are infomorphs (including 130 ghosts, who are full Japanese citizens). About 3,000 humans with non-Japanese nationality are on the payroll. Kyushutsu – with 15,000 operatives – has 1,600 of the infomorphs and 8,000 of the bioroids, as cybershells and specialized bioroids are simply better at the job than humans. However, the psychological importance of having humans involved in a rescue operation is well-established, and the proportion is unlikely to fall further. Of the non-Japanese operatives, 800 are in Kyushutsu as well. Kakuho has another 4,000 bioroids, along with 500 infomorphs. However, most of the staff are human (about 11,000), as most sapients who have been rescued are human, and respond better to human care. Around 2,000 non-Japanese work in Kakuho, many of them medical personnel on short-term contracts. The NKKC has a standing policy of employing newly qualified medics and nurses from any country for two years, with the option to sign up for a longer period. The pay is good, and the experience highly respected in trauma medicine. It’s also a clear chance to do some good, and so the program always has far more applicants than it can take. Those who do work with the agency generally take positive opinions of it, and Japan, back to their home countries, another bit of memetic engineering.
Kenkyu has another 300 infomorphs, and a similar number of bioroids, but it is overwhelmingly human (about 4,400), although about 200 of the non-Japanese work here. This has led to a noticeable bias in the equipment produced, a problem that the agency is trying to correct. Jimu employs around 60,000 people, including about 600 sapient infomorphs and about 9,000 bioroids, most of whom are in menial roles. Jimu makes extensive use of NAIs, and is the main source of the pressure to allow the employment of LAIs.
western style, and looks like a white military or police uniform, with rank markings on the upper arm and the operative’s name on the right breast. Dress uniform is Japanese style, with a white kimono, hakama (trouser skirt), and haori (jacket). The haori bears the wearer’s rank marks five times: on each breast, in the upper center of the back, and on each sleeve. Dress uniform does not carry the name. Uniforms are the same for men and women, apart from necessary differences in tailoring, and were originally based on men’s clothing.
The NKKC inherited its ranks from the JSDF, simply renaming them to reflect the existence of a new branch of service. From lowest to highest, they are Kyushi, Kyuso, Kyui, Kyusa, and Kyusho. Within each rank there are three grades, translated as First Class (the highest), Second Class, and Third Class, so newly qualified recruits are Kyushi, Third Class, while the highest leadership are Kyusho, First Class. The head of the agency has the unique rank of Kyubakuryo. The NKKC strongly discourages translation of the rank names, as the translations almost inevitably sound military. In Japanese, the “kyu” in every rank name means “salvation,” reducing the military association. The current Kyubakuryo is Sho Nakamura, a veteran of Kyushutsu. Each of the four divisions is headed by a Kyusho, First Class, supported by other Kyusho as necessary. As a rule, an operative’s superior has the next higher rank, rather than being a higher class in the same rank, and Kyuso command the small teams that go into the field. Kyui in Kyushutsu also save lives directly, but Kyusa and above are in supervisory roles. It is not too unusual for an operative to refuse a promotion, and enough have applied for a demotion for it to not be thought strange, although it is still very uncommon. In Kyushutsu, operatives are grouped into teams of six, kyutai, led by a Kyuso. Three teams make up a group, kyudan, with six members of Kakuho, also led by a Kyuso, as support. A group is led by a Kyui, for a total of 25 operatives. Although the membership of teams and groups changes as people retire and join, it is extremely unusual for an operative to transfer between groups, or even between teams. Relationships within the group become very strong, and members learn to work together flawlessly. It is unusual for the agency to dispatch less than one kyudan, but the kyutai work independently once they arrive at the disaster.
Although the NKKC is not a military organization, it does require a high level of discipline. Most punishments are formal warnings and reprimands, which can ruin chances of promotion, but the agency also docks operatives’ pay, demotes them, or, in extreme cases, fires them. Dismissal only happens after a formal hearing at the honcho in Morioka. The NKKC does not have its own prisons or brig, and lacks the authority to confine its operatives. Criminal operatives are handed over the police, although the NKKC does make its own judgment as to whether an offense is really that important. Operatives who do particularly well, or act particularly bravely, are rewarded. The basic level is a commendation, which has no formal effect, but does remain on record. Promotion is, of course, based on consistent good service, and comes with a pay rise. The agency also awards medals to recognize individual acts of heroism. While an operative’s full record is considered when deciding on promotions, medals are awarded solely on the basis of one action. Medals are presented in a formal ceremony in Morioka, and grant positive Reputations within the agency; the character points for this come free with the award. The NKKC is a small group in the context of the Transhuman Space setting; within the agency, a medal-holder will effectively be recognized automatically, as medal insignia are always worn with both undress and dress uniforms, and anyway, most operatives hear about these awards. However, the GM may occasionally rule that a new operative or one from another part of the organization, who has never happened to see a character in uniform, doesn’t know about that character’s medals. The Sakura (cherry blossom) is a simple silver cherry blossom on a white ribbon, awarded for saving a life at severe risk to your own; most operatives with more than 10 years’ service have at least one. Infomorphs only get this if they survived the rescue, so that the current operative remembers doing it. The first award grants a +1 Reputation in the agency, worth 1 point. Further awards may improve this at the GM’s discretion; a character with four or more awards should almost always have a +2 Reputation, worth 3 points. Tsubasa (wings) are awarded for acts of conspicuous bravery. The medal is a pair of bird’s wings on a deep blue ribbon, and can be awarded posthumously. Holders of a Tsubasa have a +2 Reputation, worth 3 points. The highest award is the Amenoukihashi, or Floating Bridge of Heaven. It is awarded for the highest gallantry, with the most significant results. In theory, it is a rainbow-colored sash, but it has only been awarded three times, and only posthumously, so the insignia has never been made. If it is awarded to a living character, it should come with a significant Reputation, probably extending to the whole world.
The colors of NKKC uniforms are reflective red and white, and cybershells are painted in the same way. The main uniform is white, and the Japanese rising sun, with rays, appears in red as the badge of the agency. Rank markings are also in red. The main rank markings are indicated by stylized cherry blossoms: Kyushi have none, Kyuso one, Kyui two, arranged vertically, Kyusa three, arranged in a triangle pointing upwards, and Kyusho four, arranged in a diamond pattern. Within each rank, Second Class is indicated by a horizontal bar below the cherry blossoms, while First Class adds a bar above them. Kyushi Second and First Class just have the bars. The Kyubakuryo has the Kyusho’s four cherry blossoms enclosed in a red ring. Apart from the rescue suits and cybershells (see pp. 1820), the NKKC has two styles of uniform. Undress uniform is
LOCATIONS The NKKC has five main offices, the honcho (headquarters) in Morioka and four shicho (sub-offices). It also has a number of supply depots across Japan, and a large number of orbital dispatch stations, from which Kyushutsu operatives travel to the sites of disasters.
MORIOKA HONCHO The honcho is in Morioka, the capitol of Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan. Morioka is one of the few substantial Japanese cities not threatened by tsunamis and, importantly, it is not in Tokyo, so the NKKC should be fully able to respond to a disaster in the Japanese capital. Although Morioka is the administrative center of the agency, very few members of Kyushutsu or Kakuho are based there. It does, however, house Kenkyu’s main research facilities, and all the companies that supply the agency have offices, at least, nearby, as this is where procurement decisions are made. Morioka Honcho also has an airfield, spaceport, and warehouses, and can, in theory, resupply all of the agency’s dispatch stations. In practice, however, the spaceport is too far north and too near a major city to see significant use, and while it is kept operational, not even contingency plans rely on it. There are about 10,000 staff here, 3,000 from Kenkyu and almost all the rest from Jimu. Morioka Honcho is where new operatives are officially inducted after completing their training, and where major award ceremonies and serious disciplinary hearings are held. A Kyushutsu operative with a respectable, but not outstanding, career might well never visit again after induction. However, anyone can visit. The NKKC does not keep its operations secret, and visitors to Morioka Honcho cannot get in the way of an emergency operation, so it is very open. Apart from the Visitors’ Center, which is very good and accessible in VR on the Web as well, it is also very boring.
TANEGASHIMA SHICHO Tanegashima Shicho is the operational heart of the agency, occupying a large chunk of Tanegashima Spaceport in Kagoshima Prefecture. Under normal circumstances, all the orbital dispatch stations are supplied from here, so there is a constant stream of spacecraft taking off and landing, and a similar flow of materiel and personnel in and out of the base. This is also one of the primary dispatch sites for Kakuho aircraft. Civilians wandering around here certainly could get in the way of an emergency response, so access is much more restricted than at the honcho. The Visitors’ Center, however, is recommended to travelers with a couple of hours to kill at the spaceport; it has interesting displays, large windows overlooking the spaceport and airstrips, and a very good, and reasonably priced, cafeteria. For a lot of off-Earth visitors, the NKKC represents their first impression of Japan, something Hodobu aims to maintain. In addition to warehouses and hangars, the shicho has manufacturing facilities and accommodation, as a significant number of Kakuho operatives are on active duty here at all times. Kyushutsu operatives spend two days here before and
after each orbital duty, taking the necessary medical checks, but they live elsewhere. There are about 12,000 staff here, 1,000 from Kakuho ready for dispatch, 1,000 from Kyushutsu passing through, and about 10,000 from Jimu organizing all of the supplies. It is headed by Kyusho Second Class Takahisa Morimoto, a veteran of Jimu and a real stickler for the rules. He has even established clear rules on which rules cease to apply in an emergency.
FUJIMIYA SHICHO Fujimiya Shicho is the agency’s main training center and secondary dispatch center. It is in Fujimiya, in Shizuoka Prefecture, just south of Mount Fuji. A popular story has it that Hodobu chose the location so that they could take lots of photographs of operatives training with Mt Fuji in the background. Hodobu certainly is responsible for maintaining the impressive number of cherry trees to the north of the base, and in cherry blossom season it is a very popular picnic spot. However, the location was actually chosen because it is relatively central in Japan and close to Tokyo; some Kyushutsu operatives are stationed here ready to leave by aircraft if there is a disaster in the most populated regions of Japan, which they can reach as quickly as the orbital drops, with more equipment. Fujimiya Shicho is the largest of the agency’s bases, with about 15,000 operatives. It houses all trainees, the headquarters of Hodobu, the larger dispatch center for Kakuho aircraft, and operatives taking further training or learning to use new equipment. It is also the site where new equipment is tested, and as a result it is closed to the public. Kyusho Second Class Samansa Debisu is in charge; she was born in Hawaii, and served in Kakuho for 10 years before transferring to Jimu, at which point she took Japanese citizenship, and Japanized her birth name (Samantha Davies). Fujimiya Shicho sits in the shadow of an active volcano (Mount Fuji), and the agency agreed in principle to move its functions to a safer location in 2073. However, finding somewhere has proved very difficult; few communities want an extra 15,000 people dropped on them, along with an active, and noisy, airport. The agency’s leadership is lobbying the government to force somewhere, probably in Nagano or Gifu Prefectures, to take them, but Hodobu is officially opposed, arguing that it would harm the agency’s image.
TOKYO SHICHO Tokyo Shicho is the smallest shicho, with only 500 operatives, almost all from Jimu. It is responsible for liaison with the Japanese government, and 250 of its staff are officially attached to Hodobu. The office, in Nagatacho, near the National Diet Building, was designed to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake directly under Tokyo, and its astronomical cost was the subject of questions in the Diet. It is not clear what useful role the building would serve if there were such an earthquake, and the shicho has a persistent problem with mentally disturbed people trying to live in the Visitors’ Center, as it is the safest place to be in Tokyo in a quake.
Hodobu hosts a number of public events in the display space and auditorium, and likes to get Kyushutsu operatives to come to speak to the public. Some love the job; others apply for transfer to Luna to get away. The office is led by Kyusho Third Class Yukimitsu Hatoyama, a Kyushutsu veteran with four Japanese Prime Ministers in his family tree and excellent connections to the country’s political class. A lot of people expect him to be the next Kyubakuryo.
The number of days spent off duty is varied so that operatives serve with all other members of their gumi over time. Each hakenshitsu is based around a 90’ cylinder, to which the drop ships (pp. 21-22) used to transport operatives to the ground are tethered, and where the transport ships dock. The drop ships are winged and powered, so that they can execute an aerobraking reentry and choose exactly where to land, but they are not capable of getting from Earth to orbit under their own power. The cylinder also houses an impressive sensor array, used to monitor for disasters. At each end of the cylinder is a pair of spin capsules on the end of arms with a 500’ radius, maintaining 1G. It is very important that the operatives be used to Earth gravity at all times, because there is no chance to readjust when dispatched. These capsules counter-rotate to avoid excessive gyroscopic effects, so in theory the hakenshitsu could maneuver fairly easily, if it had an engine. This may become important when the beanstalk (High Frontier, p. 23) is built. Each spin capsule houses one kyudan, and each kyudan comes up and goes down together, but the whole crew of the station socializes in the zero-gee cylinder or VR. One kyudan is ready to go at all times, and can leave within one minute of an alert, while the other crews can be ready within 10 minutes. Each kyudan is split between four drop ships, three of which carry Kyushutsu kyutai, while the last carries a Kakuho kyutai. The Kyui in command of the kyudan normally travels with the Kakuho kyutai, but not always.
This is the agency’s main base on Luna, and its name means “rabbit hutch.” Luna’s low gravity and small size mean that the NKKC can operate from surface installations, and does not need orbital stations. Usaginokoya Shicho is a warren habitat near Luna City, and has about 1,000 staff, including most of the Jimu staff on Luna. The NKKC only moved to Luna in 2086, after the Luna City disaster. As a result, they have somewhat tense relationships with the Lunar Rescue Force (High Frontier, p. 56) and the JSDF (High Frontier, p. 71). The NKKC thinks that the JSDF should now be transferred back to Earth, but the Defense Ministry is strongly opposed. The LRF and NKKC are happy to work together in principle, and share information. However, Japanese corporations have reduced their funding for the LRF since the NKKC arrived, although other nationalities are less happy about relying on the Japanese completely. The NKKC also has a standing offer to recruit members of the LRF, and is far better funded and equipped. As a result, quite a few members of the LRF now feel under siege, and it is one of the very few organizations to engage in active memetic These are the kana syllables, in their traditional order. attacks on the NKKC. These attacks are generally easy to I Ro Ha Ni Ho He To Chi Ri Nu Ru Wo Wa Ka Yo Ta Re deflect, as the Hodobu office on Luna has a larger budget So Tsu Ne Na Ra Mu U Wi No O Ku Ya Ma Ke Fu Ko E Te A than the LRF as a whole. Sa Ki Yu Me Mi Shi We Hi Mo Se Su The agency’s presence on Luna is led by Kyusho First Class Marena Tsukibora, who is still officially a member Wi and We haven’t been used in normal Japanese for over of Kakuho. Her family name means “moon cave,” and she a century, but the NKKC still uses them for hakenshitsu. claims her posting was fate.
HAKENSHITSU The NKKC has 47 hakenshitsu (dispatch stations) in LEO. Each is labeled with a single character from the Japanese kana syllabary, in imitation of the firefighters of Tokyo three centuries earlier. Each station is run by an SAI from Jimu, with the rank of Kyusa. The SAI is the most senior operative on the hakenshitsu, and is in command. All routine tasks are under the control of this SAI and its NAI agents, and the overworked hakenshitsu AIs are the strongest lobbyists for the NKKC to start employing LAIs again. There are 100 other operatives stationed on each hakenshitsu, 76 from Kyushutsu and 24 from Kakuho. Each operative serves 24 days in orbit, followed by an average of 48 days off. One kyudan (25 operatives) are rotated off each station every six days, so the NKKC makes eight trips to orbit every day. Operatives are assigned to a hakenshitsu when they are commissioned, and always serve on that station. The full group of operatives attached to a hakenshitsu is called a “gumi,” with the same name as the hakenshitsu, so “a-gumi,” “ku-gumi,” or “na-gumi,” for example. “Chi” (blood) and “shi” (death) gumis are the subject of a lot of half-serious superstition, but statistically they are a little safer and more effective than the others.
When a crew is ready to leave, the infomorphs are downloaded to the Tenryu cybershells and connected to the station’s digital network, and the humans and bioroids are wearing most of their rescue suits, although their helmets are on stands in the drop ship, also connected to the network. This gives the hakenshitsu an extra few seconds before the helmets are disconnected, allowing the download of necessary linguistic and geographical knowledge. The sapient infomorphs tend to stay in the cybershells even when not on alert, as they are still connected to the Web, but every hakenshitsu has half a dozen cyberdoll shells that sapient infomorphs can borrow if they want to relax in meatspace with their colleagues. These cyberdolls have display panels built into their foreheads to display the infomorph’s name; this is not ideal, but no one has come up with a better idea yet. Humans and bioroids do not wear their suits while off alert, but the NAIs tend to stay in the helmets, and interact with them through the Web and the communication network that fills the hakenshitsu. Only some of the hakenshitsu are in polar orbits, but all have the same radiation shielding, and in an emergency, they can, in theory, house a couple of hundred refugees. This has yet to be tested in practice, however.
OPERATIVES NKKC operatives are elite, and receive a high level of training. The Agency has the resources to pay for many problems to be fixed if a potential operative is sufficiently talented, and is open-minded enough to look at any applicant. Although the “typical” kyutaiin is a Japanese human, almost any sapient creature could join the Agency. The activities of Kyushutsu operatives on active missions are constantly monitored by control centers in Tanegashima, Fujimiya, Morioka, and Tokyo. All the information collected by the rescue suits worn by all operatives is transmitted and monitored in real time (unless communications are cut off, of course – and in that case, the systems will attempt a fast update data dump when possible), and recently the agency has been encouraging operatives to have upslinks installed, so that the operative’s full experience can be monitored. (The agency relies on its legal immunities in areas in which upslinks are illegal.) The agency installs the upslink at no expense to the operative, so they are not uncommon, although far from universal. They are not supposed to be monitored unless the operatives are actually on a mission, and the operatives can turn them off, but some operatives still have privacy concerns.
ADVANTAGES The NKKC particularly looks for operatives who are able to operate independently under difficult conditions, while never forgetting that they are there to save people. Almost any sort of personal competence can help with that. The agency may even subsidize biomod or nanosymbiont treatments that make agents more effective, such as metabolic enhancements or permanent anti-radiation treatments. Social and other advantages with no relevance when on duty, notably Wealth, are obviously less useful in heavily mission-focused campaigns. The GM can point this out to players, or even simply say that they aren’t part of the campaign.
This enables bioroid or AI operatives to work in areas where they are illegal or property without risking arrest, and allows the NKKC to disregard licensing and air traffic control laws and pollution regulations. It is unlikely to have much effect on the game, and the GM should consider just giving characters an extra five points with which to buy the Advantage.
Rank pp. B29-30 Rank in the NKKC is Administrative Rank, costing the usual 5 points per level. Trainees have Rank 0, Kyushi have Rank 1, Kyuso Rank 2, Kyui Rank 3, Kyusa Rank 4, Kyusho Rank 5, and the Kyubakuryo is Rank 6. Within each rank, Second Class is represented by one level of Courtesy Rank, and First Class by two; these grades give only a very little actual authority, but earn some respect (and slightly better pay), and break ties in dealings between operatives of equal Rank.
Reputation pp. B26-28 The NKKC has an excellent reputation, which extends to its members. Everyone in the Solar System has heard of the NKKC, but most operatives are only recognized if they show up in uniform or are on active service. This Reputation gives a +3 reaction bonus, but operatives are, in effect, only recognized occasionally, for a final cost of 5 points. Operatives who get picked up by Hodobu and made into the face of the agency may get a higher frequency of recognition. Also, agency medals grant Reputations within the NKKC; see p. 9.
The NKKC does not see a strong, even obsessive, drive to help people as a problem, so a number of psychological disadvantages are approDesirable Advantages priate to the agency. Anything that Acute Senses, Combat Reflexes, Empathy, Fit or Very Fit, High Pain Threshmight distract an operative during a old, Improved G Tolerance, Perfect Balance. (Backroom personnel just need good rescue, however, is a reason to IQ or relevant Talents.) refuse an application. In heavily mission-focused campaigns, the GM may choose to prohibit social disadvantages with no Legal Immunity relevance when on duty, such as reduced Wealth. If players p. B65 seem to have deliberately chosen disadvantages which just While NKKC operatives are not bound by local laws, either don’t disadvantage a serving NKKC operative, such as by formal agreements or through courtesy, the agency’s rules are Pacifism, the GM can either prohibit them or find ways to as strict as normal laws, for a basic Legal Immunity of 5 points. make them actually especially problematic during missions.
Duty pp. B133-134 All NKKC field operatives have a Duty. It is not Extremely Hazardous, because the environments are not, normally, deliberately trying to kill the operatives, and they are equipped to deal with the hazards they face. However, it certainly isn’t NonHazardous either. The frequency is a problem. If you are playing an NKKC campaign, then the operative is almost always on duty (-15 points), because almost all sessions concern rescue missions. As the Disadvantage would be compulsory for all characters, it should not count toward any Disadvantage limit. If you are not playing such a campaign, then the Duty would, by the numbers, come up Fairly Often, and would cost -5 points. However, no non-NKKC characters would be able to participate in such adventures, and a Disadvantage that effectively means “cannot play in session on a role of 9 or less” is a very bad idea. In such a campaign, treat the Duty as a 0-point Feature, with the understanding that the character is only on duty when the player cannot participate, or in downtime.
and shared with the wearers, some operatives also learn Electronic Operations (Sensors) to operate sensor swarms and other systems. Spacer is often useful on orbital missions, and also allows the operative to help around the NKKC’s orbital stations. Dealing with panicked survivors is not easy, so Body Language, Diplomacy, Leadership, and Psychology (Applied) are very useful. (Ideally, operatives would know specialties of Psychology for AIs, humans, and bioroids, but most specialize in their own type.) Finally, Public Speaking is standard for Kakuho members, who have to calm people down in the evacuation centers, and some Kyushutsu operatives also learn it.
Skills With Physiology Modifiers
As explained on p. B181, characters are normally assumed to learn certain skills, including Body Language, Diagnosis, and First Aid, initially as they apply to members of their own species. Then, when applying them to other species, the character must either first roll successfully against another skill (usually the appropriate specialty of Physiology), or take a penalty. However, the NKKC teaches those three skills to many of its operatives, including bioroids and infomorphs in cybershells, and of necessity teaches them as applied to humans; the vast majority of rescued disaster victims are human, after all. Hence, any operative can use those skills Prohibited Disadvantages without problems on human subjects, but may take a Acceleration Weakness, Motion Sickness, Space Sickness, penalty with other “species” – even the operative’s own. and any substantial physical impairment (at least for field The penalties this generates are rarely serious, though – agents – backroom personnel may get more leeway). from -1 for some exotic parahumans to -3 for bioroids designed for radically unusual environments. A few operatives may be trained or experienced in dealing with bioroids as well as humans, and take no penalty for either; treat this as a perk. Buy the perk once for each skill; it has 1 point KILLS in Physiology (Bioroid) as a prerequisite. NKKC operatives try to save lives under difficult circum-
stances, and they are well-trained. Their skills fall into several groups. All operatives work with a rescue suit, a specialized type of environment suit, and so need Rescue Suit skill (below), along with Free Fall and Swimming to enable them to handle conditions commonly met on missions. (Infomorphs in their amphibious cybershells have less need for the last.) Operatives need medical skills, as many victims are injured; First Aid is universal, as is Diagnosis, so that operatives do not aggravate injuries while evacuating people. The NKKC teaches an optional specialty of the latter, Diagnosis (Trauma Effects); operatives know a lot about internal injuries, burns, drowning effects, etc., but are not so knowledgeable about long-term infections. Some operatives with advanced medical training replace First Aid with Physician, and have the full version of Diagnosis; this is particularly common in Kakuho. At least one member of each kyutai should be trained in Piloting, unless they want to leave flying their drop ship to its NAI. (Very few do.) Other skills are all optional, although a well-prepared kyudan will have a good mix across its members. Athletic skills are used to get to victims; Climbing, Jumping, Lifting, and Running are common. The aftermath of a disaster often contains man-made hazards; Hazardous Materials is useful for understanding labeling and dealing with any leaks, while Architecture lets an operative judge how badly damaged a building is, and Forced Entry is often useful in getting into lightly damaged structures. Although the sensors built into the rescue suits are operated by their AIs
Kyushutsu operatives are elite, and their point totals reflect this. Rescue Suit/TL DX/Average Defaults: DX-5 and others. This skill is a version of Environment Suit (p. B192), appropriate for NKKC suits designed for use in rescue situations. The NKKC suit is both a diving suit and a vacc suit, but it also comes with a built-in AI and a lot of fancy features, making it significantly different from ordinary dedicated vacc or diving suits. Rescue Suit defaults to and from any other Environment Suit skill at -4. Note that, as operatives wear their rescue suits more or less full time when on missions, any who take DX-based skills at high levels should also try to raise Rescue Suit to the same level.
CHARACTER TEMPLATES These character templates cover a wide range of point values. One reason is that Kyushutsu operatives are elite, and their point totals reflect this. Another is that infomorphs in cybershells are high-point characters. If you want to run a mixed infomorph and biological team, then it is easier to have the infomorph be a ghost (as in the templates), as the SAI template is very expensive. Even so, the biological operatives will have a lot of points if you try to keep point totals matched, so it may be better to run a mutable point totals campaign (see Changing Times, p. 17), and not worry about infomorphs having more points on paper. The bioroid and human templates each give three options for the type of bioroid or human. The features of those templates have already been calculated into the template statistics, so you can just write the numbers down. You should look up the details of the advantages and disadvantages possessed by the bioroid or human type, however. The templates given are only examples; as noted above, the NKKC could employ just about any sapient. These templates could be changed substantially and still make good operatives, if the skill set remained appropriate.
GHOST KYUSHUTSU OPERATIVE 500 points You save lives, and because you have a backup on file at the NKKC, you are willing to take great risks to do so. You are not necessarily irrational about this, but the agency is not unhappy if you lose a copy, and a cybershell, trying to save someone. Having practiced intensively, you can operate the radically nonhumanoid Tenryu cybershell with full efficiency. Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 11 ; IQ 11 ; HT 15 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 125 lbs.; HP 10; Will 11 ; Per 12 ; FP N/A; Basic Speed 6.50 ; Basic Move 8 . Advantages: Administrative Rank 1 ; Ally (Kikko Rescue Suit; Built on 50%; Constantly; Minion, +0%) ; Ghost Mind Emulation ; Legal Immunity ; Reputation +3 (Life-saver; Occasional) ; Tenryu Cybershell . • 20 points from Allies (human friends) [Varies], Born Spacer [5/level], Combat Reflexes , Contact Group [Varies], Contacts [Varies], Courtesy Rank 1 or 2 (Class within Rank; see p. 12) [1 or 2], Daredevil , Fearlessness [2/level], Healer [10/level], Indomitable , Intuition , Luck , Patrons [Varies], Rank +1 , or Status [5/level]. Disadvantages: Duty (NKKC Service; 15 or less) [-15]. • Either one of Charitable (12) [-15], Fanaticism (Humanitarianism) [-15], On the Edge (12) [-15], or Sense of Duty (All Humanity or All Infomorphs) [-15], or both Unluckiness [-10] and one of Enemy (Unfriendly immediate supervisor; Watcher; 12 or less) [-5], Oblivious [-5], Overconfidence (12) [-5], or Selfless (12) [-5]. Primary Skills: Diagnosis/TL10 (Trauma Effects) (A) IQ+1 -12; First Aid/TL10 (E) IQ+3 -14; Free Fall (A) DX+1 -12*; Rescue Suit/TL10 (A) DX+2 -13.
Secondary Skills: Choose five from Forced Entry or Jumping, both (E) DX+1 -12; Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or HighPerformance Spacecraft) (A) DX -11; Architecture/TL9 or TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), or Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), all (A) IQ -11; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), both (H) IQ-1 -10; Swimming (E) HT+1 -16; or Body Language (A) Per -12. Background Skills: Choose five from Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or High-Performance Spacecraft) (A) DX-1 -10; Area Knowledge (any), Current Affairs/TL10 (any), or Spacer/TL10, all (E) IQ -11; Architecture/TL9 or TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), or Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), all (A) IQ-1 -10; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), both (H) IQ-2 -9; Swimming (E) HT -15; Body Language (A) Per-1 -11. Do not choose anything you chose as a Secondary Skill. * Bought up from HT-based default.
Around 95,000 sapients – including bioroids, infomorphs, and humans – work for the NKKC in a variety of roles: search-andrescue personnel, medical support, researchers, and memeticists, along with other mundane yet important jobs.
BIOROID KYUSHUTSU OPERATIVE 300 points You save lives, and people respect you for it. You are a full and valued member of the NKKC, but sometimes the people you save are less sure of you. Note: If the final character is built on 344 (or more) points, the cost of the Aibo Rescue Suit Ally drops, because its proportion of the character’s points becomes lower; see p. 19. First, choose one of the following 195-point bioroid model packages. The Rodosha is the most common, but the NKKC does have a few catgirls.
Felicia II Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 14 ; IQ 11 ; HT 13 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 ; Will 10 [-5]; Per 11 ; FP 13 ; Basic Speed 7.00 ; Basic Move 7 . Advantages: Felicia II (Transhuman Space, p. 117, and Changing Times, p. 49) .
Rodosha Attributes: ST 13 ; DX 14 ; IQ 11 ; HT 13 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d/2d-1; BL 45 lbs.; HP 17 ; Will 13 ; Per 13 ; FP 15 ; Basic Speed 6.50 ; Basic Move 6 . Advantages: Rodosha (below) .
Xenocop Attributes: ST 11 ; DX 14 ; IQ 11 ; HT 11 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs.; HP 11 ; Will 11 ; Per 13 ; FP 15 ; Basic Speed 7.25 ; Basic Move 8 . Advantages: Xenocop (p. 16) . Then add other details as below for all types of bioroid: Advantages: Administrative Rank 1 ; Ally (Aibo Rescue Suit; Built on 100%; Constantly; Minion, +0%) ; Legal Immunity ; Reputation +3 (Life-saver; Occasional) . • 40 points from Allies (human or bioroid friends and/or AIs, especially implants or wearables) [Varies], Biomods (Changing Times, p. 64) [Varies], Communications Implants (Changing Times, p. 61) [Varies], Contact Group [Varies], Contacts [Varies], Nanosymbionts (Changing Times, p. 66)
[Varies], or Patrons [Varies]. • 40 points from Acute Senses (any) [2/level], Breath-Holding [2/level], Daredevil , Eidetic Memory , Fearlessness [2/level], High Pain Threshold , Improved G Tolerance [5 or 10], Perfect Balance , or Unfazeable . Disadvantages: Duty (NKKC Service; 15 or less) [-15]; Social Stigma (Minority Group) [-10]. • Either one of Charitable (12) [-15], Gullibility (9) [-15], or Sense of Duty (All Humanity) [-15], or both Clueless [-10] and Hidebound [-5]. Primary Skills: Diagnosis/TL10 (Trauma Effects) (A) IQ -11; First Aid/TL10 (E) IQ+2 -13; Free Fall (A) DX -14; Rescue Suit/TL10 (A) DX+2 -16; Spacer/TL10 (E) IQ -11; Swimming (E) HT+1 -14 or 12*. Secondary Skills: Choose three from Forced Entry or Jumping, both (E) DX+1 -15; Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or HighPerformance Spacecraft) (A) DX -14; Architecture/TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), or Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), all (A) IQ -11; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; Bioroid or Human), both (H) IQ-1 -10; Lifting or Running, both (A) HT -13 or 11*; or Body Language (A) Per -11 or 13*. Background Skills: Choose five from Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or High-Performance Spacecraft) (A) DX-1 -13; Area Knowledge (any) (E) IQ -11; Architecture/TL9 or TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), or Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), all (A) IQ-1 -10; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), both (H) IQ-2 -9; Lifting or Running, both (A) HT-1 -12 or 10*; or Body Language (A) Per-1 -10 or 12*. Do not choose anything you chose as a Secondary Skill. * Level depends on bioroid model.
Rodosha Bioroid Many bioroid types are designed for combat, or for dubious purposes such as use as sex toys. The Rodosha is an exception; it is designed to help compensate for Japan’s shortage of human workers in mundane roles. When the NKKC decides that a bioroid could fill some staff requirement, this model is often close at hand. These operatives tend to become rather more self-willed than most Rodosha, who tend to be highly psychologically dependent on their managers and implant AIs, and often suffer from the Low Self-Image disadvantage, which is permitted as an exception to their Taboo Traits feature. Rodosha are designed to be robust, deft, alert, and good team members (and not too expensive). Their exceptional low-frequency hearing was almost accidental, but turned out to have uses in industrial environments. Rodosha are also designed to be methodical and highly sociable; the areas of their brains which process social interaction are deliberately “cross-wired” to the pleasure/reward centers. Rodosha look like husky humans with bland expressions and non-threatening body language, except that they are all bald, and their skins have a strong blue tinge;
they are designed never to be confused with humanity. Their fingers are long and almost delicate, but not freakishly so, and their movements are usually slow and steady. Most are male, with oriental-style features.
Rodosha 51 points Attribute Modifiers: DX+1 ; HT+1 . Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: HP+2 ; Per+2 ; FP+2 ; Basic Speed-0.25 [-5]. Advantages: High Manual Dexterity 2 ; Lifting ST 2 ; Night Vision 2 ; Resistant to Disease (+3) ; Subsonic Hearing . Perks: Deep Sleeper.  Disadvantages: Bioroid Body [-4]; Gregarious [-10]; Workaholic [-5]. Quirks: Attentive; Humble. [-2] Features: Bald with Blue-Tinged Skin; Closely Resembles Others of the Same “Model”; Taboo Traits (Mental Instability). Date: 2075. Cost: $100,000.
Xenocop Bioroid The Xenocop is described in Fifth Wave (p. 120). In brief, it is an American design, intended for use in law enforcement and security work and built to be fast and capable, and to inspire trust among humans. A number of Xenocops have been constructed under license in Japan, although the use of bioroids for police work hasn’t generally proved popular there; one or two have ended up in the NKKC.
Xenocop 107 points Attribute Modifiers: DX+1 ; IQ+1 . Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Per+2 ; FP+3 ; Basic Speed+1.00 . Advantages: Appearance (Attractive) ; Combat Reflexes ; Fit ; Hard to Kill 2 ; Voice . Disadvantages: Bioroid Body [-4]; Selfless (12) [-5]. Quirks: Attentive. [-1] Features: Taboo Traits (Mental Instability, Unattractiveness). Date: 2089. Cost: $138,000.
HUMAN KYUSHUTSU OPERATIVE 300 points You are part of the majority of Kyushutsu, human or maybe a bit better than that. You put yourself in danger to save people, and in return you get the respect and admiration of most of the world. Notes: If the final character is built on 344 (or more) points, the cost of the Aibo Rescue Suit Ally drops, because its proportion of the character’s points becomes lower; see p. 19. First, choose one of the following 150-point genotype packages:
Genefixed Human Attributes: ST 11 ; DX 13 ; IQ 12 ; HT 14 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs.; HP 11 ; Will 12 ; Per 12 ; FP 14 ; Basic Speed 7.00 ; Basic Move 6 [-5]. Advantages: Genefixed Human (Transhuman Space, p. 115, and Changing Times, p. 48) .
Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 13 ; IQ 12 ; HT 12 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 ; Will 12 ; Per 12 ; FP 13 ; Basic Speed 6.25 ; Basic Move 6 . Advantages: Ziusudra (Transhuman Space, p. 118, and Changing Times, p. 49) . Then add other details as below for all types: Advantages: Administrative Rank 1 ; Ally (Aibo Rescue Suit; Built on 100%; Constantly; Minion, +0%) ; Legal Immunity ; Reputation +3 (Life-saver; Occasional) . • 75 points from Allies (human friends and/or AIs, especially implants or wearables) [Varies], Biomods (Changing Times, p. 64) [Varies], Communications Implants (Changing Times, p. 61) [Varies], Contact Group [Varies], Contacts [Varies], Courtesy Rank 1 or 2 (Class within Rank; see p. 12) [1 or 2], Nanosymbionts (Changing Times, p. 66) [Varies], Patrons [Varies], Rank +1 , or Status [5/level]. • 40 points from Acute Senses (any) [2/level], Born Spacer [5/level], Charisma [5/level], Combat Reflexes , Daredevil , Fearlessness [2/level], Fit  or Very Fit , Healer [10/level], High Pain Threshold , Improved G Tolerance , Indomitable , Intuition , Luck . Sensitive  or Empathy . Disadvantages: Duty (NKKC Service; 15 or less) [-15]. • Either Charitable (12)  or Sense of Duty (All humanity), or both Unluckiness [-10] and one of Enemy (Unfriendly immediate supervisor; Watcher; 12 or less) [-5], Oblivious [-5], Overconfidence (12) [-5], or Selfless (12) [-5]. Primary Skills: Diagnosis/TL10 (Trauma Effects) (A) IQ -12; First Aid/TL10 (E) IQ+2 -14; Free Fall (A) DX -13; Rescue Suit/TL10 (A) DX+2 -15; Swimming (E) HT+1 *. Secondary Skills: Choose three from Forced Entry or Jumping, both (E) DX+1 -14; Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or HighPerformance Spacecraft) (A) DX -13; Spacer/TL10 (E) IQ+1 -13; Architecture/TL9 or TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), or Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), all (A) IQ -12; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), both (H) IQ-1 -11; or Body Language (A) Per -12. Background Skills: Choose six from Piloting/TL10 (Aerospace or High-Performance Spacecraft) (A) DX-1 -12; Area Knowledge (any), Current Affairs/TL10 (any), or Spacer/TL10, all (E) IQ -12; Architecture/TL9 or TL10, Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors), Hazardous Materials/TL10 (any), or Public Speaking, all (A) IQ-1 -11; Diplomacy or Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), both (H) IQ-2 -10; Running (A) HT-1 *; or Body Language (A) Per-1 -11. Do not choose anything you chose as a Secondary Skill. * Level depends on genotype option.
Alpha Upgrade Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 13 ; IQ 12 ; HT 13 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 ; Will 12 ; Per 12 ; FP 16 ; Basic Speed 6.50 ; Basic Move 6 . Advantages: Alpha Upgrade (Transhuman Space, p. 115, and Changing Times, p. 48) .
KENKYU RESEARCHER 100 points You are an in-house researcher at the NKKC, tasked with developing new technology to save even more people’s lives. It’s easy to talk about what you do, but the actual research is as hard as in any other laboratory.
Hodobu is very open about how it does its memetic engineering, with the result that a lot of textbooks use its activities as examples, so just about anyone who has studied memetics has a positive view of the NKKC and its memeticists. Note: Researchers are not sent to rescue people from disasters, so they do not have a Duty, just a job. The NKKC’s reputation does still rub off on them, however. Attributes: ST 9 [-10]; DX 10 ; IQ 13 ; HT 10 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d-1; BL 16 lbs.; HP 9 ; Will 13 ; Per 13 ; FP 10 ; Basic Speed 5.00 ; Basic Move 5 . Advantages: Administrative Rank 1 ; Reputation +3 (Lifesaver; Occasional) . • One of Artificer 2 , Computer Wizard 2 †, or Mathematical Ability 2 . • 15 points chosen from Allies (AI implants or wearables) [Varies], Biomods (Changing Times, p. 64) [Varies], Communications Implants (Changing Times, p. 61) [Varies], Courtesy Rank (Class within Rank; see p. 12) [1 or 2], Eidetic Memory , Intuitive Mathematician , Nanosymbionts (Changing Times, p. 66) [Varies], Photographic Memory , or Versatile . Disadvantages: -10 points chosen from Clueless [-10], Curious [-5*], Loner [-5*], No Sense of Humor [-10], Oblivious [-5], Odious Personal Habit [-5], Shyness [-5 or -10], or Truthfulness [-5*]. Primary Skill: One of Computer Programming/TL10, Computer Programming/TL10 (AI), or Engineer/TL10 (any), all (H) IQ+2 -15‡. Choose Computer Programming if your chosen Talent is Computer Wizard, Engineer otherwise. Secondary Skills: Mathematics/TL10 (Applied) (H) IQ-1 -12§. • Three skills for which your Talent gives a bonus; each is either (E) IQ+3 -16‡, (A) IQ+2 -15‡, (H) IQ+1 -14‡, or (VH) IQ -13‡. Background Skills: Administration (A) IQ-1 -12; Research/TL10 (A) IQ -13.
* Modified for self-control number; see p. B120. † Assumes Computer Hacking is available. If not, take Computer Wizard 4 ; this raises all associated skills by two levels. See Changing Times (p. 40) for relevant information. ‡ Includes +2 for Talent. § Becomes IQ+1 -14 if you have Mathematical Ability.
HODOBU MEMETICIST 100 points You are part of the NKKC’s PR department. In some ways, this is the easiest job in the world, so you are expected to take on difficult tasks, like getting Kazakhstan to grant the NKKC permission to intervene in disasters. Note: Members of Hodobu are not sent to rescue people from disasters, so they do not have a Duty, just a job. The NKKC’s reputation does still rub off on them, however. Attributes: ST 9 [-10]; DX 10 ; IQ 13 ; HT 10 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d-1; BL 16 lbs.; HP 9 ; Will 13 ; Per 13 ; FP 10 ; Basic Speed 5.00 ; Basic Move 5 . Advantages: Administrative Rank 1 ; Memetics Talent 2 ; Reputation +3 (Life-saver; Occasional) . • 15 points chosen from Allies (AI implants or wearables) [Varies], Appearance (Attractive or Handsome) [4 or 12], Charisma 1 or 2 [5 or 10], Communications Implants (Changing Times, p. 61) [Varies], Contacts [Varies], Courtesy Rank (Class within Rank; see p. 12) [1 or 2], Cultural Familiarity [1/culture], Empathy or Sensitive [15 or 5], Languages (any) [Varies], Language Talent , Nanosymbionts (Changing Times, p. 66) [Varies], extra Rank [5/level], Status [5/level], or Voice . Disadvantages: -10 points chosen from Chummy or Gregarious [-5 or -10], Easy to Read [-10], Honesty [-10*], Loner [-5*], Overconfidence [-5*], Selfish [-5*], Selfless [-5*], or Sense of Duty (The NKKC) [-10]. Primary Skill: Expert Skill (Memetics) (H) IQ+1† -14. Secondary Skills: Select five from Politics, Propaganda/TL10, or Teaching, all (A) IQ+2 -15†; Diplomacy, Psychology (Applied; AI, Bioroid, or Human), or Sociology, all (H) IQ+1 -14†; or Intelligence Analysis/TL10 (H) IQ-1 -12. Background Skills: Administration (A) IQ-1 -12; Current Affairs/TL10 (two different specialties), both (E) IQ -13. * Modified for self-control number; see p. B120. † Includes +2 for Memetics Talent.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE The following equipment is (more or less) unique to the NKKC.
AIBO (PARTNER) RESCUE SUIT 258 Points The standard-issue Aibo suit for humans, parahumans and bioroids is a wearable cybershell, running an NAI. The cybershell and AI together are generally regarded as a unit; the first set of statistics here is that of the standard AI when installed in the shell, representing a complete character, the second is the template for the cybershell itself. It looks like an armored space or diving suit, and is white, with the Rising Sun in red on the chest and back, and “NKKC” in red Latin letters below and Japanese characters above. The operative’s name is written on the helmet’s forehead and suit’s back in red Latin letters; it also appears in Japanese on the upper arms, along with rank insignia. The suit does not give a penalty to skills (and indeed, the AI is trained to provide advice on common tasks, in a way that even highly skilled operatives generally find helpful), but operatives learn Rescue Suit skill (p. 13) in order to make full use of its capabilities and their own abilities while wearing it. It weighs 20 lbs. Among other features, the Aibo has fold-out swim fins on hands and feet (an Accessory perk on the template). These can be extended or folded away with a Ready maneuver. While extended, they give trained users +1 Water Move (but -2 Move on land).
Advantages: Aibo Suit Cybershell ; Computer Brain 2 (4, 4) (Limited Integration, -20%; Skills and Languages Only, -10%) ; NAI-6 . Disadvantages: Duty (NKKC Property; 15 or less) [-15]. Skills: Administration (A) IQ -10; Computer Operation/TL10 (E) IQ+3 -13*; Diagnosis/TL10 (Trauma Effects) (A) IQ+3 -13; First Aid/TL10 (E) IQ+2 -12; Search (A) Per+1 -16. * Included in NAI template. The usual Modular Abilities loaded into the Aibo before dispatch are Area Knowledge (E) IQ+2 -12, and Language (Accented)  for the area of the disaster.
Aibo Suit Cybershell 151 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST -10 [-100]; HT +5 . Secondary Attributes: HP+7 ; Per +5 . Advantages: Absolute Direction (Requires Signal; -20%) ; Compartmentalized Mind 1 (Dedicated Controls) ; DR 10 (Can’t wear armor, -40%) ; Discriminatory Hearing ; Discriminatory Smell ; Doesn’t Breathe ; High Pain Threshold ; Infravision ; Machine ; Night Vision 9 ; Peripheral Vision ; Pressure Support 1 ; Reduced Consumption 2 (refuel/recharge once per day) ; Scanning Sense (Imaging Radar) ; Scanning Sense (Sonar) ; Sealed ; Telecommunication (Radio; Secure, +20%; Sensie, +80%) ; Temperature Tolerance 5 ; Vacuum Support . Attributes: ST 0 ; DX 10 ; IQ 10 ; HT 15 . Perks: Accessories (Air Supply for wearer; First Aid Kit – basic Secondary Characteristics: Damage 0; BL 0; HP 7 ; Will 10 equipment for First Aid/TL10; Retractable Swim Fins; ; Per 15 ; FP N/A; Basic Speed 6.25 ; Basic Move 0 Searchlight; Small Computer); Provides own DR, Pressure ; Dodge N/A. Support, Sealed, Temperature Tolerance, and Vacuum Support to wearer.  Disadvantages: Cybershell Body [-15]; No Legs (Portable) [-30]; No Manipulators [-50]; Perk: Provides Own (Advantage) to Wearer Restricted Diet (Very Common, power cells) When a wearable cybershell (such as a rescue suit) provides one [-10]. of its advantages, such as DR or Pressure Support, to someone Features: Individuals of the same model closely who is wearing it correctly, that is treated as a perk. Multiple resemble one another. advantages require multiple perks! However, if a shell has internal Note: The Dedicated Controls advantage gives Payload space which is used by passengers, they gain the benefits the wearer access to the suit’s sensors, and gives of its DR, pressure sealing, etc., automatically; that’s part of the him the benefit of the suit’s Per bonus to all Payload advantage. senses other than taste, including the suit’s scanning senses.
The Aibo as an Ally In a campaign consisting of rescue missions, operatives should take their Aibo as an Ally with Constantly as the Frequency of Appearance and the +0% version of Minion (as its controlling mind is an NAI, with Slave Mentality). Since its character value is 258 points, it costs 20 points as an Ally for a 258- to 343-point PC, 12 points for a 344- to 515-point PC, or 8 points for a 516- to 1031-point PC. Characters over 1,031 points would only have to pay 4 points, but that is a long way outside the normal range of NKKC operatives. This generally gives a margin on the Aibo’s point value (42 points in a 300point game); with GM permission, players may personalize their Allies with a few more skills, or even small attribute increases, reflecting the AIs’ unique experiences and training, provided of course that they remain within that margin. An Aibo could even have a quirk or two, for extra points; even NAIs can develop minor personal foibles. If the focus of the campaign is not rescue missions, the Aibo is basically never available, as operatives are not allowed to take them out on private jaunts. In such a case, it costs no points; it counts as issued equipment for any odd occasions when the character is on a mission. Even if a character sneaks his suit out for one private adventure, the trouble he will be in covers the benefits for that one incident.
cumbersome and prone to damage, so that is now a separate piece of equipment. The suit weighs 40 lbs. Because the Tenryu and Kikko were designed together, it is not immediately obvious that the Kikko comes off, and tools are needed to remove it, although a large hatch provides access to the Tenryu’s internal medical support pod. The Kikko is always removed for maintenance, but not otherwise; infomorph operatives tend to use another cybershell entirely when off duty. Attributes: ST 0 ; DX 10 ; IQ 10 ; HT 15 . Secondary Characteristics: Damage 0; BL 0; HP 9 ; Will 10 ; Per 15 ; FP N/A; Basic Speed 6.25 ; Basic Move 0 ; Dodge N/A. Advantages: Computer Brain 2 (4, 4) (Limited Integration, -20%; Skills and Languages Only, -10%) ; Kikko Suit Cybershell ; NAI-6 . Disadvantages: Duty (NKKC Property; 15 or less) [-15]. Skills: Computer Operation/TL10 (E) IQ+3 -13*; Diagnosis/TL10 (Trauma Effects) (A) IQ+3 -13; Search (A) Per+1 -16. * Included in NAI template. The usual Modular Abilities loaded into the Kikko before dispatch are Area Knowledge (E) IQ+2 -12 and Language (Accented)  for the area of the disaster.
Kikko Suit Cybershell 148 points
The Tenryu (heavenly dragon) cybershell actually looks more like a fat horse than a dragon, with four slender legs that can carry the body high off the ground, and four tentacle-like arms mounted near the head.
KIKKO (TURTLE SHELL) RESCUE SUIT 249 Points The Kikko suit is designed for Tenryu-model cybershells, and shares the same sensor array and other features as the Aibo suit used by humans and bioroids. The controlling AI is also similar, but usually not as well-trained; SAI or ghost operatives are assumed to be able to handle some tasks themselves, and should leave others to other team members. Like the Aibo, the Kikko is white, with the badge and name of the NKKC in red, and the operative’s name on all four upper legs. Two standard NKKC stretchers can be attached to external mounting points when required. A reentry heat shield was incorporated in early models, but it turned out to be
Attribute Modifiers: ST -10 [-100]; HT +5 . Secondary Attributes: HP +9 (Size, -10%) ; Per +5 ; SM +1. Advantages: Absolute Direction (Requires Signal; -20%) ; Compartmentalized Mind 1 (Dedicated Controls) ; DR 10 (Can’t Wear Armor, -40%) ; Discriminatory Hearing ; Discriminatory Smell ; Doesn’t Breathe ; High Pain Threshold ; Infravision ; Machine ; Night Vision 9 ; Peripheral Vision ; Pressure Support 1 ; Reduced Consumption 2 (Refuel/recharge once per day) ; Scanning Sense (Imaging Radar) ; Scanning Sense (Sonar) ; Sealed ; Telecommunication (Radio; Secure, +20%; Sensie, +80%) ; Temperature Tolerance 5 ; Vacuum Support . Perks: Accessories (First Aid Kit – basic equipment for First Aid/TL10; Searchlight; Small Computer); Provides own DR to wearer.  Disadvantages: Cybershell Body [-15]; No Legs (Portable) [-30]; No Manipulators [-50]; Restricted Diet (Very common, power cells) [-10]. Features: Has stretcher and heat shield mounting points; Individuals of the same model closely resemble one another. Note: As with the Aibo, the Dedicated Controls advantage gives the wearer access to the suit’s sensors and Per bonus.
The Kikko as an Ally For purposes of the Ally advantage, the Kikko is treated much like the Aibo (see The Aibo as an Ally, above). It costs 8 points as an Ally to a 500-point character, or 4 points to a rare 1,000-point character. It only has a 1-point margin for personalization as a 500-point infomorph operative’s Ally, but feel free to add a quirk or two and spend the points gained on extra skills.
TENRYU RESCUE CYBERSHELL 318 points The Tenryu (Heavenly Dragon) cybershell actually looks more like a fat horse than a dragon, with four slender legs that can carry the body high off the ground, and four tentacle-like arms mounted near the head. The head itself is elongated and mounted on a flexible neck; officially intended to resemble that of a stylized oriental dragon, it actually looks very horse-like. The articulation and design of the legs lets them transform into efficient flippers for underwater operations. The cybershell’s body contains a capsule that can hold an injured person, and medical systems (drug injectors, bandage sprays, etc.) that operate inside the capsule, so that the cybershell can take an injured victim inside and then begin basic treatment. A reentry heat shield can be fitted on the top of the shell when it is installed in its Kikko external casing (p. 19), and the whole assembly comes down from orbit lying on its back, re-orienting near the earth’s surface. The bulky reentry shield is removed after landing. Infomorph operatives only use the Tenryu while on duty, normally having another shell (in some cases still technically owned by the NKKC) for off-duty activities. If the campaign will revolve entirely around rescue missions, this other shell can be left as background color, rather than being detailed and paid for with points. Attribute Modifiers: HT +5 . Secondary Attribute Modifiers: Basic Move +2 ; SM +1. Advantages: Amphibious ; Doesn’t Breathe ; DR 3 ; Enhanced Move 2 (Ground) ; Extra Arms 2 (Extra-Flexible, also applied to base 2 arms, +50%) ; Extra Legs (4 legs) ; High Pain Threshold ; Lifting ST 15 (Size, -10%) ; Machine ; Payload 20 ; Pressure Support 1 ; Reduced Consumption 2 (Refuel/recharge once per day) ; Sealed ; Telecommunication (Radio; Secure, +20%; Sensie, +80%) ; Temperature Tolerance 5 ; Vacuum Support . Perks: Accessories (First Aid Kit – basic equipment for First Aid/TL10, mounted internally to be used on patients in payload space; Small Computer); Can make a controlled landing after atmospheric reentry with heat shield.  Disadvantages: Cybershell Body [-15]; Restricted Diet (Very Common, power cells) [-10]. Features: Individuals of the same model closely resemble one another; Payload space is designed to carry an injured human. Notes: This cybershell cannot fly, or even glide, under normal circumstances. Like the space shuttle, it has the aerodynamics of a streamlined brick, with or without a Kikko external shell. It can make a controlled aerobraking reentry when fitted with a heat shield, and decide exactly where, within a fairly broad target area, it lands, but cannot decide to go to a wholly different area, or fly by jumping from anything lower than LEO. A Tenryu does not need much space to land, but it lands in a very controlled crash, so anything it lands on is likely to be badly damaged; infomorph operatives try to avoid landing right next to survivors. Thus, the shell does not qualify for any version of the Flight advantage; its reentry ability is a perk.
Tenryus decelerate out of orbit by latching to the sides of drop ships, but let go to complete reentry. Drop ships can fly within the atmosphere with Tenryus clinging to the side, but they are not at all elegant when doing so.
The NKKC’s motto: “Hitori demo Ohku” (“Even One More”)
MICROBOT SWARMS The NKKC makes extensive use of microbot swarms, because they can get into just about any collapsed structure to find and help survivors inside. All swarms have the Illumination package, primarily so that they are easy to spot, but also to provide additional illumination at night, and because if someone is trapped in the dark, light is a great psychological help. The NKKC uses chassis that are designed to work in badly damaged environments, so rubble and similar obstacles do not obstruct the swarms at all. They can all use sonar or radio to communicate, so that they can function in water, and have the standard three hours of operational life. In addition to the specialized packages described below, the NKKC uses Devourer (Transhuman Space, p. 170) and Construction (Transhuman Space, p. 169) swarms to clear rubble and get access to victims. Their Devourer swarms are programmed never to attack organic matter, but must be used carefully when the presence of infomorph victims is suspected. They are also useless when victims are trapped in the remains of buildings made from bio-materials.
Equipment Packages Victim Detector (Hisaisha Kenshutsu): This package is a specialized version of Explorer (Transhuman Space, p. 170). The bots search for trace compounds given off by human and bioroid bodies, and follow trails that they detect until they find the source. If there is only one victim (living or dead) within 10 hexes, they find it automatically, unless it is within a sealed container. If there are multiple victims, they automatically find one of them. Once they have found one victim, they notify the controller. They can be ordered to search again, but must make a sense roll (Transhuman Space, p. 171) to avoid returning to a victim they have already detected, unless that victim has been evacuated. Hence, these bots are very useful, but can miss a lot of savable victims. The NKKC uses this equipment package with a Flyer or Swimmer chassis (Transhuman Space, p. 168). $2,500. Detailed Survey (Senmitsu Chosa): These microbots build up a fully detailed picture of their three-dimensional environment, and share it with their controller. They cannot miss baseballsize or larger victims in the volume they cover, and although they cannot enter sealed rooms or voids, they do uncover and report such spaces. The problem is that it takes a one-hex swarm one minute to scan one cubic yard, so it would take too long for them to look for victims throughout a disaster area.
Operatives set these swarms onto sites where they have good reason to suspect that there are multiple survivors present, generally because a Hisaisha Kenshutsu swarm has found a couple. The NKKC uses this package with an Armored Crawler chassis, but other organizations often use a simple crawler (Transhuman Space, p. 168). The NKKC swarms can operate under water, although they must crawl on surfaces rather than swimming. $4,000. Lifesaver (Kyumei): Lifesaver swarms are a specialized and advanced version of the standard Paramedic package (Transhuman Space, p. 170). Paramedic packages are far too slow for emergency use, but also try to do more than Kyushutsu needs to do on-site. (Kakuho do use Paramedic swarms, however.) Kyumei swarms determine whether any injuries are lifethreatening, and try to patch up those that are; treat them as having Diagnosis-12 for this purpose only, and as providing the equivalent of bandaging (p. B424), with First Aid-12 to stop bleeding only. When they are used on people trapped under rubble, they also determine where the pressure of debris is dangerous, and move between the victim and the debris, locking together to support the weight of the debris and keep it off the victim. It takes a one-hex swarm 10 minutes to shield a victim this way, but multiple swarms speed it up; a two-hex swarm can do it in five minutes, a three-hex swarm in three minutes 20 seconds, and so on. Protecting a single victim under rubble normally consumes a single hex swarm, as that many members remain in place to support the rubble. They do not need power to serve this function, and can be recovered after the rubble is removed. The NKKC uses this package with an Armored Crawler chassis, and standard procedure is to send five swarms to help a single victim. $10,000. Oxygen Bearer (Unsanso): This swarm settles on a single victim, injecting temporary respirocyte nanosymbionts (Transhuman Space, p. 165) and then supplying oxygen directly to the bloodstream. It is a variant of Hypo (Transhuman Space, p. 170), but with additional monitoring capabilities to allow it to keep oxygen levels adequate. A swarm can keep someone alive under water or in vacuum for at least half an hour, and for longer in favorable conditions. The limiting factor is that carbon dioxide starts to build up in the body; Kenkyu is working on a version that can scrub it out, which should be able to keep someone alive for a day or more. $5,000 (including the nanosymbionts).
DROP SHIPS (TL10) A standard NKKC drop ship transports a single kyutai and its equipment. Each carries a basic equipment package at all times, and specialized packages are automatically swapped in while the operatives are getting to the ship. A drop ship can hold 30 people and two Tenryus and still take off from Earth and maneuver, sluggishly. Drop ships are streamlined deltas, about 50’ long (SM+6). They are capable of VTOL and atmospheric flight, but cannot achieve orbit by themselves, although they can de-orbit very quickly under their own power. They are lightly armored in addition to their heat shielding, but are not armed at all. If there are any sapient infomorphs in the team, their Tenryu cybershells rest clamped onto the drop ships, ready for launch. A drop ship is constructed of advanced metallic laminates and equipped with a disposable ablative heat-shield, allowing an aerobraking reentry, often assisted by the ship’s rockets.
This enables it to de-orbit and land within 30 minutes, far faster than almost anything else. The system is far from cheap, however, and no-one else is thought to use it. Special forces might be interested, but it is possibly the least stealthy means of reentry known. Its propulsion system is a hybrid design; hydrogen-oxygen rockets briefly provide up to 3G of thrust, while the jet engine allows extended maneuvers in atmosphere. The rockets are used for de-orbiting and rapid vertical landings and take-offs; the pilot and control AIs make a point of preserving enough fuel for both before the landing at the emergency scene, though if the craft is less than fully laden it can get into the air on jet power alone. After a mission is complete, the drop ship will usually either be at the disaster scene or parked near a convenient hospital or evacuation center. It will then be refueled if necessary by tankers and then flown back to Japan, often by stages (effective range in atmosphere is about 2,000 miles), prior to refurbishment and a return to orbit with strap-on boosters and tanks or as cargo in an HLV. Contents of the cargo space vary with the mission, but almost always include fold-out emergency seating that enables the hold to be converted to carry evacuees. The primary skill to operate the craft is Piloting (Aerospace), but NKKC pilots also train in Piloting (High-Performance Spacecraft) to handle the occasional space rescue mission. A drop ship could float on water if necessary, but couldn’t take off from there, and so would have to be towed to land for extensive refurbishment (or abandoned); some pilots insist that a rocket-powered take off from water would be perfectly possible, but the risks of steam, spray, and being knocked sideways by a wave at a critical moment mean that no-one has tried it yet. Maritime and sub-aquatic rescue missions with no land nearby traditionally involve rapid “drop deployments” from low-hovering drop ships. While teams are fully trained for this, even the NKKC’s leadership regards such necessities with trepidation. Drop ships have only very basic NAI pilots installed, so a team member really has to learn to fly them. The NAI can deorbit the ship well enough, though, so the pilot-operative has a few minutes to digest the mission briefing before having to take the controls. If the NKKC decided to employ LAIs again, this is probably the first place they would be used. In terms of the rules in GURPS Spaceships and GURPS Spaceships 8, drop ships have the following details. Front Hull [1-2]  [4-5]  [core] Central Hull  [2-5]  Rear Hull  [2-3]
System Nanocomposite Armor (total dDR 14). Soft Landing System. Cargo Hold (10 tons). Passenger Seating (6 seats). Control Room (C8 computer, comm/sensor 5, 2 control stations). System Nanocomposite Armor (dDR 7). Cargo Hold (20 tons). External Clamp. System Nanocomposite Armor (dDR 7). Fuel Tanks (five tons hydrogen/oxygen providing 0.15 mps delta-V each). Cargo Hold (5 tons).
Rear Hull 
Rear Hull  [core]
System Smaller Systems (three at SM+5): Jet Engine (0.3G atmospheric acceleration), Fuel Tank (1.5 tons jet fuel providing 60 minutes endurance), Cargo Hold (1.5 tons).
System Chemical Rocket (3G acceleration). Cargo Hold (5 tons).
A drop ship has a winged hull.
PILOTING/TL10 (Aerospace) 10
Air performance is Hnd/SR +4/5. Top air speed is 1,400 mph with jet engines or 4,500 mph (briefly) with jet engines and chemical rocket.
HAKENSHITSU (TL10) See the description of the hakenshitsu on p. 11. They should be background color in most adventures, but the statistics may sometimes be important, and in terms of the rules in GURPS Spaceships and GURPS Spaceships 8, this is how they look. Because the spin capsules are essentially distinct components, linked to the non-rotating core section, and provide much higher spin gravity than a spacecraft of this size could normally manage, they and the core are treated as two separate design units; External Clamp systems represent the linkages between them. Note that hakenshitsu are not currently equipped to maneuver; this will probably have to change as the beanstalk is built.
Hakenshitsu Core Front Hull   TL
System Light Alloy Armor (dDR 5). External Clamp.
Front Hull [3-5]  [core] Central Hull   [3!]  [5-6] Rear Hull   [3-6, core]
System Larger System (one at SM+8): Enhanced Comm/Sensor Array (level 9). Habitat (one establishment). Control Room (C8 computer, comm/sensor 6, no control stations). System Light Alloy Armor (dDR 5). External Clamp. Factory (Robofac). Solar Panel Array (one Power Point). Habitat (two establishments). System Light Alloy Armor (dDR 5). External Clamp. Habitat (one ops center)
The design has total automation and exposed radiators.
Rear Hull  [core]
Hakenshitsu Spin Capsule Front Hull  [2-6] Central Hull   [3-6, core] Rear Hull  [2-3] [4-5] TL
System Metallic Laminate Armor (dDR 5). Habitat (5 cabins). System Metallic Laminate Armor (dDR 5). Cargo Hold (5 tons). Habitat (5 cabins) System Metallic Laminate Armor (dDR 5). Cargo Hold (10 tons). Habitat (2 cabins).
System External Clamp. Habitat (1 cabin).
The design has total automation and exposed radiators.
Nihon Kinkyu Kyushutsu Cho
CAMPAIGNS AND ADVENTURES A lot of different campaigns could involve NKKC operatives. The following are some possibilities that focus on them.
The action starts within minutes, as the drop ship and cybershells reach the disaster area . . .
EVEN ONE MORE The motto of the NKKC is “Hitori demo Ohku,” which translates as “Even one more,” and means “If we can save even one more life, we should.” The main type of campaign involving the NKKC is one in which the PCs are members of Kyushutsu, sent out to save lives in a new disaster every adventure. There will be plenty of action and peril, but very little combat. In such a campaign, the hakenshitsu and agency bases are background color, because all of the adventures take place elsewhere. The characters should normally be assigned to one of the orbital hakenshitsu, so that they can be sent anywhere on earth, or even to orbit. When an emergency is detected, the AI alerts operatives. High-speed tracks take them to the central cylinder, where they board the drop ships through hatches that are automatically sealed behind them. The station AI is already downloading a briefing to their systems, and continues updating this as they re-enter the atmosphere. This briefing is always incomplete, as it is being revised on the fly, and the GM should provide it, to set up the adventure. The action starts within minutes, as the drop ship and cybershells reach the disaster area and the operatives must decide, based on what they know, where to act first. Since one group of operatives can normally only address one crisis, the choice should normally be obvious, to make sure that they go for the problem the GM has prepared. Operatives receive little support during a rescue. Information is patchy and unreliable, and there are rarely other people available to help. However, the agency does try to supply any useful information it has, which justifies GM hints if players are getting stuck or dithering. Information such as floor plans
may be available, but only for the situation before the disaster. The constant link to the agency means that operatives do not need to ask for information or support, and if they encounter something strange, the agency tries to find out what it is and advise on how to deal with it. However, operatives almost always have to act before such information arrives. It is best not to try to accurately simulate a disaster; there is so much going on, and so much chaos, that almost any plausible situation can realistically happen somewhere in the area. Instead, design situations for dramatic impact.
The NKKC always reacts quickly, but even so the main shaking will be over before they arrive to respond to an earthquake. Aftershocks are very likely, though. Small ones are background color. Moderate aftershocks make liquids spill and may knock things over. Weakened structures may collapse, and all actions take a penalty of -2 or -3. Characters must make a roll vs. DX+2 or fall, and falling debris typically inflicts 1d of damage. Strong aftershocks cause 2d of damage from new debris, and characters must roll vs DX or fall. All actions take a penalty of -4. Damaged buildings often collapse, and rubble settles in new ways. If the first earthquake was actually a foreshock, the operatives may find themselves in the middle of a really severe earthquake. All actions take a penalty of -12, and debris can inflict 6d of damage. Characters must roll against DX-2 or fall down, and must repeat this roll every time they move. Even Fifth Wave structures that were previously undamaged may collapse. Most rescue work after an earthquake involves getting people out of collapsed buildings. Finding people uses the sensors in the rescue suit, or Computer Operation at a penalty of at least -3 to get information from systems in the area. Getting people out uses ST, DX, and equipment. Diagnosis skill is also important, as injuries may not be obvious, and may limit the ways a person can be removed without killing them. Fires very often follow earthquakes, and automatic fire suppression systems may have been broken. Live power cables are another danger, as are gas leaks in Third Wave areas. In a building with relatively light damage, a security system that is either confused or run by an NAI can be a significant obstacle. Indeed, in Fifth Wave areas, calming building AIs down with Psychology (Applied; AI) can be a vital component of rescue work. Damage to research centers could result in almost any hazard. Undersea earthquakes cause tsunamis, covered under Floods (p. 24).
Fires A fire by itself almost never calls for intervention by the NKKC; building systems and local authorities can handle them. However, other disasters often cause fires, which then complicate rescue work. These fires are almost always ordinary intensity (p. B433), and standard NKKC equipment (see pp. 18-22) provides enough DR to protect operatives. Fire, therefore, mostly adds urgency to the search for trapped survivors. Fires impose a penalty of -1 to -4, depending on strength and extent, to any Rescue Suit or Electronics Operation roll to find survivors; heat, chemicals, and particles added to the air confuse many sensors.
Floods The NKKC does not respond to slow floods, when rivers rise steadily in response to heavy rain. These can be devastating, but most people can easily stay ahead of them. However, sudden floods are within the agency’s remit. This includes tsunamis, floods from burst dams, and very severe flash floods. Operatives can often reach an area downstream of a burst dam before the flood water does, or beat a tsunami to the coast. In such cases, the goal is to get people to high ground. This might involve picking people up and carrying them, particularly those who can’t walk, but giving directions and simply getting people moving are equally important. NKKC drop ships can move about 30 people at once, if they stand and squeeze in, or about a dozen who cannot stand. There are normally far more people than the operatives can move in the few minutes remaining, so the decisions on whom to prioritize are an important part of the adventure. A large tsunami, such as the one after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, can be over 100’ high, traveling at over 20 miles an hour, and can sweep houses away. Such floods do not need game statistics; anyone struck is swept away automatically, taking 1d damage every second from drowning or collisions with debris. A successful Swimming roll buys 10 seconds without damage; if the roll succeeds by at least 5, or is a critical success, the swimmer gets to the surface, and has a +2 bonus to further rolls. Again, operatives’ standard equipment
normally makes all this no direct threat, although large items caught in the flood may cause more damage if a Swimming or Dodge roll to avoid them fails, and the experience of being thrown around can cause serious disorientation. Once the flood has hit, operatives can look for survivors with the shared senses of the rescue suit (the suits are equipped with sonar), and possibly use Swimming to reach them and pull them out. Debris in the water often poses hazards, and operatives often face tough choices over whom to save.
Hull Failures Hull failures can occur on space stations or undersea habitats. They are among the very few disasters that can happen too quickly for the NKKC to do anything; a catastrophic hull failure on an undersea habitat can kill everyone inside in seconds. Even then, however, infomorphs may survive the initial damage, and well-designed habitats can delay complete hull failure long enough for evacuation and rescue. All NKKC teams are equipped to function at up to 15 atm of pressure, down to about 450’ in Earth’s oceans (actually slightly better than the strict definition of the Pressure Support 1 advantage implies, but this can be treated as a special effect). Thus, they can respond to disasters at Elandra (Transhuman Space, p. 33, and Under Pressure, pp. 32-38) – a full member of the PRA – and most other undersea habitats. Kuratani (Under Pressure, p. 40), however, is on its own. Standard NKKC suits can also function in vacuum, as, obviously, can the drop ships and cybershells. In these cases, the problem is finding people and getting them out before they run out of air. Depending on the cause of the hull failure, some people may also be trapped by structural damage. In general, a hull failure in space does not hinder operatives. Underwater, except for the shallowest habitats, sections fail catastrophically when they fail, so there is either no effect, or the whole area is filled with water. In both cases, leaks should be treated as setting a time limit for game purposes. If the habitat is at high internal pressure, like much of Elandra, hull failure is not a risk, but this can still be a challenging environment for other kinds of disaster. One of the challenges of underwater disasters is that water cuts off the operatives’ link to the agency, and to each other. Simple signals can be sent using sonar, and suits and cybershells have systems to allow full communication if two operatives are in direct contact, but radio communication is impossible, and cables tethered to transmitters on the surface are completely impractical. Kenkyu is working on a communication system that can transmit directly from the sea floor to a satellite, but so far physics is not cooperating.
Industrial Accidents An industrial accident has to be really bad to get the NKKC involved, especially as most Fifth Wave industrial sites are largely teleoperated. In Third Wave areas, however, operatives do try to rescue workers when things go very wrong. The hazards can be almost anything, from intense fires to out-of-control microbot swarms, and operatives are even more reliant on their own initiative than normal. A further issue is that the owners of the industrial site often do not want the NKKC to see what was going on; this is one of the few types of disaster at which NKKC operatives are sometimes deliberately attacked.
As they are not armed, this badly disrupts the rescue. However, operatives are still expected to try to rescue as many people as possible; the NKKC does not withdraw in the face of danger.
Terrorist Attacks As with industrial accidents, a terrorist attack has to be very large scale to draw NKKC involvement. They do not respond to attacks by armed groups, as the military is better equipped for that, but they do respond to the aftermath of large bombings and similar. In such cases, they rescue people from the rubble, much like after an earthquake. Terrorists may plan follow-up attacks to target rescuers.
Transport Disasters Transport disasters are almost always best handled by local authorities, although if a plane crashes in a remote area or a large transport breaks up in LEO the NKKC scrambles to look for survivors. Simulations suggest that, in theory, four firstresponse drop ships could actually catch a crashing TAV, evacuate all the passengers, and push the TAV to crash somewhere unpopulated. Many operatives would love to try this.
Typhoons and Tornadoes The NKKC does not often respond to typhoons, as they can be tracked well in advance. However, the chaotic development of large weather systems means that sometimes a typhoon causes unexpected damage, most often serious flooding, and in those cases the NKKC does act. Response to a typhoon is normally similar to a flood response, with complications created by the strong winds. Drop ships and cybershells can land in a typhoon, but the winds impose a penalty of up to -5 on all actions, and can topple trees and damage buildings, as well as throwing smaller items through the air. Tornadoes can also be tracked in advance to some extent, but they can hit more strongly, or in a different area, than anticipated. Not even the NKKC can land during a tornado, so operatives generally try to get survivors out of the ruins. The procedure is much the same as for earthquakes, only without the risk of aftershocks. If another tornado strikes, however, the operatives may have little time to rescue people.
Volcanoes Volcanic eruptions are hard to handle, and so it is a good thing that, in 2100, they can normally be predicted far enough in advance to allow evacuation. However, sometimes they are unexpected. In the face of lava or pyroclastic flows, operatives can sometimes arrive soon enough to get people out of the way, so treat these as a flood, with the difference that no-one can survive when the lava arrives. The agency also tries to rescue people from areas affected by associated earthquakes or cut off by lava, or blocked by ash falls. However, even at some distance lava creates intense heat (p. B434), putting a tight time limit on rescue efforts. Ash falls impose a -5 penalty on most actions, including getting the drop ship back out of the area.
Off-Duty Kyushutsu teams spend two-thirds of their time off duty, and they often spend much of that time together. They might be training at Fujimiya Shicho, or genuinely off-duty. In such
circumstances, they do not have access to rescue suits or Tenryu cybershells, or to any other NKKC equipment, but they are still well-trained individuals. Friends and acquaintances sometimes expect them to be able to solve problems, as long as the problems don’t involve violence. This is a good opportunity for “everyday adventures,” in which the PCs get to see the world of Transhuman Space when it is not in crisis.
The NKKC can also be involved in campaigns that do not revolve around rescues. Hodobu would, in a military organization, be the memetic warfare unit. While the nature of the agency gives them a very strong starting point, it is essential that the NKKC is seen as honest, effective, and impartial, even though it can never save everyone in a disaster. A whole memetics campaign could be based in Hodobu; also, since Hodobu often draft other operatives in to help with memetic management, memetic adventures can be dropped into a rescue campaign for a change of pace. See Toxic Memes, Chapter 7, and Changing Times, p. 47, for rules. If Kenkyu really does use illegal means to get hold of useful technology, they certainly use deniable outside operatives to steal information, and try to keep them from working out who has hired them. This would make an interesting twist for an industrial espionage campaign in which the players do not start off knowing who is employing their characters. Since the Ar-Raqqah incident the agency has taken a very hard line with operatives who reveal what they have seen. Sometimes, however, it is impossible to ignore what you uncover. In such cases, the operatives might contact people they can trust to handle the problem without suggesting that any information came out of the NKKC. They couldn’t help much beyond the initial information, but for the right group, that would be enough.
The NKKC has no enemies, not even in the countries that forbid it entry. There is nothing to be gained by trying to sabotage it, and the backlash if a group were caught doing so would be devastating. The LRF feels threatened by it, but even they go no further than arguing that it is unwise to rely solely on the NKKC. There are two ways in which the NKKC can be used as opposition, however. First, if the PCs have a secret facility in an area struck by a disaster, they must prevent its details being captured by the operatives’ links and transmitted to the NKKC. As operatives routinely ignore warning signs and instructions, and violence would be a tremendous memetic own-goal, drawing a huge amount of attention, this requires creativity. One obvious option is evacuating the secret things before the NKKC get there, a complex task under difficult conditions with a very tight deadline. Second, NKKC operatives are not all saints, but they look after their own. Investigators who suspect serious wrongdoing by an operative will find their inquiries blocked and hindered until they can get enough evidence to convince the NKKC itself to investigate. If the crime was committed during an operation, the perpetrator may be formally immune, forcing characters to operate outside the law to see justice. Hodobu may choose to cover up serious crimes, actively working against the investigators.
INDEX Advantages, 12; desirable, 12. Adventures, earthquakes, 23; fires, 24; floods, 24; hull failures, 24; industrial accidents, 24; off-duty, 25; terrorist attacks, 24; tornadoes, 25; transport disasters, 24; typhoons, 25; volcanoes, 25; see also Campaigns. Aibo rescue suit, 18. AIs, see Infomorphs. Allies advantage, 19. Alpha upgrade package, 16. Amenoukihashi medal, 9. Ar-Raqqah Incident, 5. Bioroid Kyushutsu operative template, 14-15. Bioroids, as operatives, 5, 8, 9; templates, 14-15. Campaigns, as NKKC operatives, 23-25; NKKC as a problem, 25; working with the NKKC, 25. Character creation, templates, 14-17; traits, 12-13. Detailed survey equipment package, 20-21. Disadvantages, 12-13; prohibited, 13. Dispatch stations, 11; stats, 22. Drop ships, 21-22. Duty disadvantage, 13. Environment Suit skill, 13. Equipment, special, 18-22. Felicia II package, 15. Foreigners, as operatives, 8. Fujimiya Shicho, 10. Genefixed human package, 16. Ghost Kyushutsu operative template, 14. Great Seto Earthquake, 5. GURPS Spaceships, 21, 22; Spaceships 8: Transhuman Spacecraft, 21, 22; see also Transhuman Space. Hakenshitsu (dispatch stations), 11; stats, 22. Heavenly Dragon rescue cybershell, 20. Hisaisha kenshutsu equipment package, 20. Hodobu, 7; memeticist template, 17. Human Kyushutsu operative template, 16. Infomorphs, as operatives, 5, 8, 9; cybershells, 18-20; template, 14. Jimu, 7, 9. JSDF, 4, 6. Kakuho, 7, 9. Kana syllables, 11. Kazakhstan, 6. Kenkyu, 7; researcher template, 16-17. Kikko rescue suit, 19. Kyubakuryo, 9. Kyudan, 9.
Kyui, 9. Kyumei equipment package, 21. Kyusa, 9. Kyushi, 9. Kyusho, 9. Kyushutsu, 7; operatives, 8, 9. Kyuso, 9. Kyutai, 9. Kyutaiin, see Operatives. LAIs, as operatives, 8. Legal Immunity advantage, 12. Lifesaver equipment package, 21. Luna, 6, 11. Medals, 9. Memeticist template, 17. Memetics, 5, 7-8. Microbot swarms, 20-21. Morioka Honcho, 10. Motoyama, Michiyo, 5. Nakamura, Sho, 9. NKKC (Nihon Kinkyu Kyushutsu Cho), area of operation, 6; awards, 9; development, 4-5; dispatch stations, 11; divisions, 7-8; foundation, 4; headquarters, 7, 10; hierarchy, 9; history, 4, 5; insignia, 9; Japanese society and, 5; jurisdiction, 6; mission, 6; motto, 23; offices, 10-11; organization, 7-8; oversight, 6; overview, 7; political support, 6; punishments, 9; purpose, 6; rewards, 9; staff overview, 89; uniforms, 9; use of memetics, 5, 7-8; see also Operatives. Operatives, character traits, 12-13; overview, 8-9; teams, 9; templates, 14-17. Oxygen bearer equipment package, 21.
Partner rescue suit, 18. Perk, new, 18. Provides Own (Advantage) to Wearer perk, 18. Rank advantage, 12. Reputation advantage, 9, 12. Rescue Suit/TL skill, 13. Rescue, cybershells, 18-20; suits, 18-19. Researcher template, 16. Rodosha bioroid, 15; package, 15; template, 15. Sakura medal, 9. Self-Defense Force, 4, 6. Senmitsu chosa equipment package, 20-21. Shicho, 10-11. Skills, 13; with physiology modifiers, 13. Syria, 5. Takahashi, Yuina, 4. Tanegashima Shicho, 10. Templates, 14-17. Tenryu rescue cybershell, 20. Tokyo Shicho, 10-11. Transhuman Space, 4, 9, 15, 16, 20, 21, 24, 25; Changing Times, 14-17, 25; Fifth Wave, 5, 8, 16; High Frontier, 11; Toxic Memes, 25; Under Pressure, 24; see also GURPS. Tsubasa medal, 9. Turtle Shell rescue suit, 19. Unsanso equipment package, 21. Upslink installation, 12. Usaginokoya Shicho, 11. Victim detector equipment package, 20. Xenocop bioroid, 16; package, 15; template, 16. Ziusudra parahuman package, 16.
Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu. (If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub. ) – Japanese saying
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