> As I’m sure most of you are aware, ever since FastJack announced what was happening to him, Butch has been working around the clock to fgure out how to understand this thing and, more importantly, how tofght back. The following sections outline several different methods that have been used to try combating the CFD virus’ subversion of metahumanity’s last refuge of the self—the brain. For those of you who are a little squeamish, I’ll warn some of you that the following cases are not for the faint of heart. Butch, I think all of us owe you a beer or three for your tireless dedication. > Glitch > Screw beer. I’d kill for a solid eight hours of sleep. > Butch
TAKING BACK THE SOUL POSTED BY: BUTCH 取回灵魂 发帖人：BUTCH
劇透 - :
Folks, I’ve been at this for a long time. I’ve sewn up more wounds, replaced more organs, installed more ’ware, and brought back more patients from the brink of death than I could ever hope to count. I’ve watched the spark of life vanish from the eyes of friends, loved ones, and complete strangers. I’ve witnessed medical miracles that not even my Awakened colleagues can explain. But nothing—nothing—compares to watching someone’s soul get stolen away while you’re looking them right in the face.
The CFD virus is a nasty piece of shit. It might not physically harm its host or change his physiology in any truly harmful way, but it steals the one thing that defines our metahumanity. Observing a victim succumb to CFD is like watching an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient slowly have their memories taken from them one day at a time. It’s heartbreaking, even for an old sawbones like myself who I thought had been inured to this kind of suffering over the years.
The virus is a parasite, and a bad one, but it’s also unlike any other parasite I have ever seen. In a symbiotic or mutualistic relationship, both host and symbiote receive somebeneft to the arrangement. In a commensalistic relationship, one organism gains benefts but the other is not harmed. In a parasitic relationship, one organism thrives to the detriment of the other. However, most parasites either live off the other organism or end up killing it. For example, there are several species of wasps, both mundane and Awakened, that lay eggs in the brains of spiders and caterpillars. These larvae are capable of exerting a primitive form of mind control on their hosts, effectively turning them into zombies. When a larva gets large enough, it kills the host. The CFD virus, on the other hand, doesn’t want to kill its host. It wants to scoop out his insides and replace them with the personality (or personalities) it’s carrying. By harming its host, though, it harms its own well being.
Some parasites are easier to get rid of than others. Some, like mistletoe or creeping vines, come right off with a little tug. Others require more invasive measures to remove. Removing the CFD virus, though, is a deeply invasive process. Even after decades of research and advancement into psychology, psychiatry, simsense technology, and other cyberware, the human brain remains largely a mystery. What works for Patient A won’t necessarily work for Patient B. Remember when you frst got measured for a datajack or some otherheadware? All the EEGs and other readings that thecyberdoc needed to take? Nowadays datajacks are considered one of the most routine headware surgeries available, but one still needs to be installed in the right way, with neural connections going to the right places—and in a mature adult brain, no less—or else even adatajack can fry your wetware. In many cases, kicking the CFD virus out of the brainpan is like conducting hundreds of thousands of datajack assessment tests, and by the time you’re fnished with the frst few hundred, you have to run a few thousand more since the virus has already progressed further while you were running tests. It’s damn near impossible to keep up with, and a race like this will usually end with the virus several thousand kilometers in the lead.
Because of this inherent time limit, medical professionals (and medical amateurs) have been forced to start getting creative. As all you creative types are no doubt aware, creativity sometimes makes for messy results, but sometimes something truly brilliant and miraculous arises from those messes. The following records cover as many of these methods as I could gather, either from my own research or from colleagues or sources I trust. Remember, kids, don’t try any of this shit at home. I mean it. I don’t do lawsuits.
MUNDANE METHODS This frst group of case studies involves attempts to combat the CFD virus the old-fashioned way, using known medical science.
劇透 - :
CASE 1: PSYCHOANALYSIS ABSTRACT Subject: Adult female H. sapiens pumillonis, age 25, affected by dissociative identity disorder (DID). Patient exhibited no symptoms until two weeks before being admitted for this case study. Subject’s primary personality is being slowly replaced by new, dominant identity that calls itself “Xor.” Primary personality wakes after fugue states spent as “Xor.” Fugue states have arrived in longer intervals with increasingly shorter lapses between intervals. Attempts made to determine the root that caused secondary personality to surface. Psychoanalysis performed both on primary and secondary personalities. Primary personality seems ignorant of secondary personality, but secondary personality acknowledges and makes threats toward primary personality during fugue states. It makes no attempts, though, to harm subject’s body. Subject kept on close surveillance during fugue states to prevent self-inﬂicted bodily injury. Keywords: DID, MPD, multiple personalities, fugues
METHOD Patient was subjected to a battery of psych evaluations for each personality. Data from evaluations informed psychotherapy treatments. Root cause of DID was investigated via psychoanalysis.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILES To form a baseline psych profle from before the subject exhibited symptoms, statements from persons close to the subject were taken. The primary personality’s psych profle taken onsite lined up with the baseline, so the primary personality remains intact. Subject’s primary identity displays a mixture melancholic/phlegmatic personality. The psych profle taken from the secondary personality (“Xor”) reveals a cold and calculating individual capable of acts of unspeakable cruelty. “Xor” displays a dominant, choleric personality completely opposite of the primary identity.
PSYCHOANALYSIS Subject was interviewed over several sessions. Primary personality did not know why she was being seen. Subject was only aware that she had started experiencing fugue states and waking up in foreign places. No childhood trauma was discovered. Subject has not recently been exposed to any stress. Family life is normal. Work habits are normal. Bloodwork corroborated subject’s testimony that she does not abuse mind-altering substances. “Xor” will not talk about her childhood, family life, work habits, or any personal issues. Instead, “Xor” continues to speak only in veiled threats, without revealing any personal information.
PSYCHOTHERAPY Subject was put through rigorous cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions. Primary identity was receptive to these therapies, but “Xor” violently opposed them, often prematurely ending sessions with violent outbursts requiring the subject to be sedated and/or restrained. Other psychotherapeutic techniques, such as hypnotherapy and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), produced the same results.
RESULTS Subject did not respond well to psychoanalysis, CBT, or DBT. Fugue states grew longer and more pronounced. The subject’s primary personality has not resurfaced in the past three days. Unless further sessions can push “Xor” back below the surface, it is possible the primary personality has been permanently subsumed. > A hundred nuyen says this researcher had no clue the patient was infected with the CFD virus. > Puck > I kept this case here to demonstrate that even triedand-true methods for counteracting your everyday dissociative identity disorder don’t work. Plus, education is probably our best weapon against head crashes at the moment. Since the author of this study didn’t know what he was dealing with, he ended up with his throat crushed when “Xor” pulled a David Copperfeld and escaped from the asylum where she was being held. Last I heard, “Xor” is still at large. > Butch
CASE 2: PHARMACEUTICAL ABSTRACT Subject: Adult male H. sapiens sapiens, age 36, affected by induced dissociative identity disorder (IDID). Dissociative identity (DI) suffers from episodes of increased anger and aggression toward all external stimuli. Condition had progressed to Stage II before applying treatment. Subject was treated via pharmaceutical means. Advancement of condition closely monitored. Keywords: IDID, DI, atropine, SeroBlock, ValiAnt
METHOD As different patients react differently to various dissociative identity disorder treatments, a number of pharmaceutical trials were administered to the subject to see which, if any, would prove most effective.
DEPRESSANTS Patient was administered a small dosage of the depressant atropine to calm aggressive outbursts. Episodes decreased in frequency for three days, at which point the frequency returned to previous levels. Increased dosage produced no appreciable effects. Did not pursue further dosage increases due to toxicity risk. Other depressants (specifcally barbiturates, alpha/beta blockers, and opioids) produced similar effects in similar timeframes. While the different drugs involved suppressed the DI for a short time, the benefcial difference between each individual treatment proved negligible.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS Patient was administered anti-depressant serotonin re-uptake inhibitor SeroBlock. DI emerged at the same level of frequency, but DI was profoundly calmer and more amenable than in previous treatments. This condition lasted for two days until DI returned to previous levels of combativeness. An increased dosage of SeroBlock reduced DI aggression for another two days. Increased dosage to safe levels produced the same effect.
ANXIETY MEDICATION Patient was administered anti-anxiety drug ValiAnt. Subject grew lethargic and slept for at least 12 hours per day. DI surfaced more often during periods of wakefulness than before drug was administered. Increased dosage; DI appeared with even more frequency. DI appeared to deduce what was being done to its host. Increased dosage a second time; DI suppressed subject’s primary identity during periods of wakefulness. Weaned subject off ValiAnt; frequency and duration of DI appearances returned to previous levels.
RESULTS Pharmaceutical trials proved unsuccessful in prolonged suppression of DI. After cessation of all medication, patient’s IDID progressed on to Stage III. Further dosages of medication after the onset of Stage III produced negligible effects. Pharmaceutical treatment option no longer feasible. Pursuing other courses of study.
> So drugs clearly don’t work. I didn’t think we needed a medical researcher to tell us that. > Puck > Even though drugs aren’t the answer, these sorts of studies tell us something far more important. The CFD virus is rewiring hosts’ brains, which means it is still forced to rely on the wetware it was given. If you fuck around with its available wetware by introducing a manufactured chemical imbalance into the host’s brain, that can affect the cognitive abilities of the host and the viral personalities. Of course, the danger seems to be that a head case can pick up on this imbalance and fght its way around it, if given enough time. >Nephrine
> At least it offers up a short-term solution to getting a CFD victim to cooperate, which I’ll bet would come in handy in an extraction. I certainly wouldn’t want a CFD personality to trigger a building-wide alarm and scream bloody murder when my team is trying to kidnap her host, but pop a SeroBlock in her, and I’m betting she’ll be a little quieter on the way out of the building. > Pistons > That’s assuming she hasn’t already progressed to “Stage III,” whatever the hell that means. > Puck > I don’t personally know the researcher who did this, but I believe the classifcation is a ranking of how deeply the dissociative identity has supplanted the base personality. As I understand, these researchers use a scale of Stage I—minor intrusion—to Stage IV—complete takeover. > Butch > Is there a Stage V, I wonder? > Kane > Yeah, I think they call that “death.” > Slamm-0!
CASE 3: SURGERY ABSTRACT Subject: Juvenile female H. sapiens sapiens, age 6, affected by cognitive fragmentation disorder (CFD). Presence of hostile nanites in prefrontal cortex. Subject has displayed signs of extreme moods swings, and secondary personality shows a level of maturation and a vocabulary inconsistent with subject’s age, development, and learning experience. Hypothesis: Nanite activity in subject’s brain is responsible for CFD. Hypothesis tested and verifed against similar cases. Patient recommended for psychosurgery. Keywords: CFD, nanites, nanite removal, NanoFlush, juvenile neurology, prefrontal cortex, lobotomy > Good God. > Pistons > Not cool, mystery virus thing. Not cool. > Slamm-0!
METHOD Patient’s condition was positively identifed using a battery of psychiatric and medical tests. Subject was treated for rogue nanites and prepared for psychosurgery. Routine surgery was then performed. TESTING Subject’s condition was frstidentifed by the patient’s teacher. Being a juvenile in corporate-run kindergarten, the patient would lapse into periods where she would employ adult-level language amongst her peers, using words, sentence structure, and subject matter a juvenile of her age group would not normally use. Since the patient was not previously noted as a prodigy, this behavior raised concern within the school’s faculty. Psychological tests. Patient was given several intelligence tests, during which the symptoms for dissociative identity disorder (DID) surfaced: irritability, inconsistency, change in demeanor, etc. Some tests showed the patient possessed remarkable skill for her age group (albeit not at prodigious levels), but tests during which her dissociative identity (DI) appeared, those administering the tests believed they spoke to not a juvenile but a full-grown adult with normal cognitive faculties. Further testing revealed the DI was quickly taking over the subject’s personality in a manner consistent with other CFD cases.
Medical imaging. EEG, CT scan, and aura reading revealed the presence of active nanites in the patient’s prefrontal cortex. Nanites were result of transgenic therapy performed in 2074 to address patient’s congenital suppressed immune system. Although the nanites should have gone dormant once the transgenic therapy was complete, they have instead remained active and have restructured part of the subject’s prefrontal cortex.
TREATMENT Hard nanite treatment. First treatment attempted to controlnanite population. NanoFlush was introduced into patient’s bloodstream. No noticeable effect observed within 24 hour period. Second dosage of NanoFlush administered at higher concentration. No noticeable effect. Follow-up CT scan reveals nanite population has effectively doubled within 48 hours of frstNanoFlush application. Hypothesis: Subject’s cortex nanites are subverting theNanoFlushnanites to their own purposes.
Soft nanite treatment. Second treatment attempted to control nanite population with “soft machine” nanites programmed to act as antibodies to any hard machine nanites they encountered. The patient’s hard nanite infestation destroyed these soft nanites immediately upon them circulating through the subject’s brain. Isotope treatment. Third treatment attempt employed radioactive isotopes intended to confuse or sterilize the nanites. This resulted in the subject experiencing acute migraine headaches for a period of three days, but the nanite population persisted and continued to grow until it had subsumed approximately 75 percent of the subject’s prefrontal cortex.
PSYCHOSURGERY Due to nanite treatment attempts failing, the subject was recommended for psychosurgery after an extensive neurological consultation. A panel of consultants determined the only way to defnitively preserve the patient’s still-developing neurological faculties was to perform a prefrontal lobotomy. The panel believed that if the prefrontal cortex was denied access to the rest of the patient’s brain, the nanite infestation would have nowhere to progress. Also, given the subject’s young age, it is hypothesized that the subject’s still-developing brain might be able to rewire itself in the absence of a prefrontal cortex.
Transorbital lobotomy. Transorbital procedure was performed immediately using dual orbitoclast method. Great care was taken to ensure no nanites migrated from the prefrontal cortex to the frontal cortex during the procedure. Procedure was successful in severing neural pathways between the prefrontal cortex and the rest of the subject’s brain. Subject recuperated and regained consciousness.
RESULTS Despite prefrontal lobotomy being a success, the patient has gravitated toward a vegetative state after recuperation period. Symptoms of IOS and the DI have ceased; however, the subject’s original personality remains absent. Patient displays no aptitude for speech or other normal neurological behavior, but involuntary brain functions remain at baseline levels. Thus far, the subject’s brain has not created new neurological connections to replace those the lobotomy removed, but further observation will determine whether or not these pathways will regrow.
The nanite population within the disconnected prefrontal cortex remains at a high level of activity. Since the procedure’s completion, the subject has begun exhibiting low-signal-strength radio activity, which leads observers to believe the nanite population is attempting to reach out from its isolation. Subject has been confned to a Faraday cage to prevent any potential incidents from occurring. If this effect worsens, it is recommended the subject undergo a partial lobectomy to physically remove the prefrontal cortex from the cranium.
> That is just … I can’t even … > Pistons > Come on, you damn virus. Not even little girls get a getout-of-jail-free card? > Hard Exit > Butch, anything to say on this one? > Bull > Other than mentioning I knew this girl personally? No. > Butch > Who was she? A niece? A friend’s daughter? > Puck > I’m not going to talk about it. Don’t ask again. > Butch > Considering the keyword is “knew,” I’m guessing it didn’t end well. > Slamm-0! > Nice to know that a fucking lobotomy is an acceptable alternative to CFD. > Kane > In case you weren’t paying attention, that probably won’t work on adults. Their brains are already fully formed and pretty set in their ways. Severing neurological connections in an adult is like playing Russian roulette with your brain. A lobectomy would be even worse. >Nephrine > I though docs stopped performing lobotomies around the turn of the century or so. > Hard Exit > They did, mostly. Lobotomies are exceptionally rare nowadays, but under the right circumstances, they can actually be benefcial. >Nephrine > The “right” circumstances in this instance being an innocent six-year-old girl? > Hard Exit > In this case? Yes. I’d … probably have done the same thing. > Butch
CASE 4: NANITE PURGE ABSTRACT Subject: Adult female H. sapiens robustus, age 52, affected by cognitive fragmentation disorder (CFD). Presence of hostile nanites in prefrontal cortex contributing to CFD at an advanced rate. Subject began at a Stage II level of CFD before referral to this case study. Transition from Stage I to Stage II occurred within one week. Age of subject discourages standard psychosurgical practices. Attempts made to remove nanites from brain tissue. Keywords: IOS, nanites, nanite removal, auxons, neurosurgery, craniotomy
METHOD After assessing patient’s condition, several attempts were made to remove hostile nanites from the subject.
劇透 - :
NANITE REMOVAL Other cases linking this condition and hostile nanite activity in the brain (see Howell and Rowan, 2075), have outlined unsatisfactory results when using targeted nanite-removal serums (such as NanoFlush, Nanofree, andMachineBGone), soft nanites, radiological isotopes, or similar removal methods. Neurological consultants suggested the subject undergo an experimental procedure involving the mechanical removal of the nanites.
Mechanical nanite removal. Frontotemporal craniotomy was performed to allow surgeon access to subject’s affected brain tissue. Exposed brain tissue beneath the meningeal layers appeared slightly discolored, exhibiting a light grey mold-like texture on the surface. The discoloration possesses the consistency of arterial plaque, and when it is examined beneath an electron microscope is revealed to be large colonies of nanites that have formed atop and between folds of brain tissue. Using the electron microscope, the surgeon identifed the largest concentrations of nanites and scraped them away from affected brain tissue. This time-consuming procedure required four hours to remove only a three cm2 area of nanite plaque. At the end of the four-hour procedure, areas that had already been cleaned of nanites began to suffer encroachment. Auxons—self-replicating nanites—started Full craniotomy. At this point it was deemed the only way to successfully clean the nanites using this method was to perform a complete craniotomy, remove the nanites as quickly as possible, and ft the patient with acyberskull. Under normal circumstances, this sort of procedure would be too cost-ineffective and time-consuming to attempt; however, the subject is of some importance and has a benefactor who stated no cost was too great. Procedure went forward. Full craniotomy performed. Nanite plaque also discovered on subject’s temporal and occipital lobes. A rotating team of twelve neurosurgeons worked twenty-four hours a day for a total of six days in order to complete the cleaning procedure. Another twelve hours was spent ftting the patient with anEvo Adroit cyberskull.
纳米去除 其它与此种情况以及大脑内的活跃恶性纳米体相关的案例（见Howell and Rowan, 2075）指出，靶向纳米去除药物（如纳米净NanoFlush、纳米清Nanofree和机械退散MachineBGone）、软纳米体、放射性同位素以及类似去除方法的效果并不令人满意。神经学专家建议目标进行实验性的机械式纳米去除手术。 机械式纳米去除。进行额颞叶开颅手术以便让手术师能接触目标被感染的脑组织。脑膜层下暴露的脑组织有轻微褪色，表面呈灰色霉菌状物质。褪色区域类似粥状动脉硬化斑块，放在电子显微镜下检查后发现是一大群聚集在脑组织上部和褶皱之间的纳米体。手术师利用电子显微镜识别出最大的纳米体群，将其刮离被感染的脑组织。手术时间十分漫长，4小时仅清除了3cm^2区域的纳米感染。手术进行4小时后，已经清除纳米体的区域开始被入侵。自生纳米体（Auxon）——能自我复制的纳米体——启动。 开颅手术。此时唯一能够成功清除纳米体的方法是进行全开颅手术，尽快清除纳米体，并给病人换上赛博头骨。通常情况下不会尝试这类手术——相对于实用性它的花费过高且耗时。但手术对象地位重要，她的出资人声明不惜任何花费。手术继续进行。进行全开颅手术。在目标的颞叶和枕叶也发现了纳米体入侵。十二名精神外科医生的轮换手术小组日夜不休连续进行了六天的手术才完成了清理。随后花了十二个小时给病人装上天演·巧脑（Evo Adroit）赛博头骨。
劇透 - :
RESULTS Nanite removal attempt was successful. Following recovery, subject remained listless and uncommunicative but seemed aware of surroundings. First successful post-operative communication came in the form of aphasic word-salad. Subject seems to be on the mend but has diffculty remembering names and faces. Surgeon team hesitates to call the procedure a complete success, as the patient’s level of function and awareness has not returned to even 20 percent of her pre-operative capacity. Current prognosis from follow-up EEG and CT scans indicate patient will likely recover no more that 35 percent of her cognitive functions.
结果 成功去除纳米体。随后的术后修复中，目标保持倦怠、寡言，但似乎能感知周围环境。术后第一次成功的交流像个失语者的词汇（in the form of aphasic word）——沙拉。看起来目标的病情正在好转，但在记忆名字和人脸方面有困难。手术小组不愿称这是一次完全成功的手术，病人的机能和意识并未回复到术前的20%。根据随后的EEG和CT扫描结果做出的诊断，病人可能最多恢复35%的认知能力。
劇透 - :
> Okay, this sounds promising. Assuming you have incredibly deep pockets and don’t mind getting an entirely new skull as part of the deal. And you’re okay with being mostly brain dead afterwards. > Slamm-0! > Hey, at least it’s a step up from a lobotomy. > Kane > At this rate, anything’s a step up from a lobotomy. > Hard Exit > Well, it’s the most success we’ve seen thus far. > Kane > So, any ideas who this patient was? Some young corp exec’s mother or something? > Bull > My source was not allowed to ID the subject. I got the impression that if someone found out he’d told me, they’d have had him killed. He only shared the case with me for medicaledifcation and left it at that. > Butch > Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not really liking the sound of any of these treatments. Surely medical advancement has come a bit further along than cutting open someone’s melon and scraping infected areas off with a butter knife. > Slamm-0! > I just hope to Ghost ’Jack hasn’t tried any of these methods. If he has, he’s probably already dead or wishing he was. > Pistons