Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alterman Backstory

The author finally has something to post, so he's doing so now. A pity he's so late, but he did warn you.

Six years prior to the series, the Somniac entered Fort Winnifred. She demonstrated her powers, and agreed to advanced testing on the condition that her family would be left alone, uninvestigated. Her terms were (ostensibly) agreed to, and research began.

Unfortunately, all attempts to replicate her powers directly failed. While she was able to safely Desynchronize other people, none of the Desynchronized volunteers were able to actually become Conductors - they’d either severely injure themselves, or simply resynchronize. And while the Somniac’s personal abilities were impressive, they weren’t enormously valuable by themselves. Another solution was needed.

Said solution came from the study of Desynchronized objects. While Desynchronized wires were capable of the same effects as a Conductor’s nerves, they didn’t have the automatic power absorption that kept a Conductor from resynchronizing, and their size made them much less efficient for multiple roles. Exploration into utilizing the Somniac’s own tissue samples...
...And then she figured out how to make stable hyperdimensional screws, rendering the whole process moot.

With the addition of a motor, objects could be Desynchronized indefinitely, by simply removing them from the normal universe. This still required some time, but Conductor technology was now viable. One of the very first projects was the Asynchronous Exoskeleton, an attempt to bypass the normal difficulties of simulating Pendulum directly.
It failed, but in a useful way. On the one hand, the Conductors it produced weren’t nearly as versatile as the Somniac, and none of them could use their powers outside of the suits. On the other, what powers they could use were quite efficient, and individual modules could be made for various applications. As a side effect, they were much closer to a safe, public release, as soon as they’d solved their production bottleneck: The Somniac herself.

As of two months prior to the series, they have, to some degree. The descendant of the Asynchronous Exoskeletons, the Alterman Suits, are still hideously expensive, but more than twelve variants have been sent for “advanced testing”, AKA the Grant Bait Gala, when the convoy carrying them is caught in a massive explosion, as it crosses the highway over Jonasberg. Most of the suits are not recovered.

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