Forking & Merging as SOP for missions

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ICU2 ICU2's picture
Forking & Merging as SOP for missions
I see the usual mission idea being one of egocasting into a location, sleeving, doing the mission, then egocasting back to "home" (which is often a different location for each character) to be resleeved in the characters' usual morphs. If necessary, egos may be recovered from backup back at "home" and resleeved. I'm curious as to how feasible it would be to instead to routinely send alpha forks on missions and then just merge it to the main ego when the fork gets back. This would help to preserve the character's cover identity (assuming the fork sticks to a fake ID) and, for short duration missions, doesn't seem all that hard on the character in terms of SV, at least in comparison to the shock of death. In addition to criminal and Firewall missions, I see this as being especially beneficial for gatecrashing first-in missions. Here the total mission is usually less than 1 week in duration and has a very high risk of losing the ego and the stack. Has anyone played it this way?
DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Well, it would add to the
Well, it would add to the amount of stress a character would gain. The example you gave, 1 week, would add a little bit of stress, fail or succeed. Critical failure with psychosurgery can pose a risk of gaining neural damage and mental disorders (or other negative ego traits). Superior failure adds more stress damage. However, if the first attempt at merging fails, you could try again - assuming you made backups before starting. Taking extra time, on the other hand, can improve odds of success. Using 2.5x the normal time gives a +60 bonus (the max you can get) on such tests. Normal merging is 10 minutes so it would take 25 minutes to get the bonus. Your team would do well to have a skilled psychosurgen available. I don't see there being many problems for your team unless they are rushed for time.
ICU2 ICU2's picture
DivineWrath wrote:
DivineWrath wrote:
Your team would do well to have a skilled psychosurgen available.
That seems like a reasonable service to request with i-rep (for Firewall missions) or x-rep (for gatecrashing) to me.
Automata Automata's picture
How many people do you think
How many people do you think would do things like that outside of Firewall? There's mention of people egocasting for work, but would some of them fork instead so they could keep doing things in their home station, or don't have to leave their body somewhere? It would probably be seen rather negatively, wouldn't it, given forking has a bit of a stigma especially in the resource poor post-fall system. Maybe resource poor is the wrong phrase, but with so many people still waiting for a morph sending off forks to do work (firewall or otherwise) seems like it would earn you some bad rep in a lot of places.
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
It would be totally illegal,
It would be totally illegal, adding a new layer of problems to an already shaky situation. On the other hand, leaving behind a beta fork and then going over the X-feed of those days seems to me more feasible as a way to maintain cover, and also a good way to create and grow aliases. The real question is what prevents operatives to send beta forks to different parts of the solar system and "assume direct control" of the ID when needed, including rep & other stuff.
ICU2 ICU2's picture
Xagroth wrote:It would be
Xagroth wrote:
It would be totally illegal, adding a new layer of problems to an already shaky situation. On the other hand, leaving behind a beta fork and then going over the X-feed of those days seems to me more feasible as a way to maintain cover, and also a good way to create and grow aliases. The real question is what prevents operatives to send beta forks to different parts of the solar system and "assume direct control" of the ID when needed, including rep & other stuff.
There are very few things that are uniformly illegal in EP. Making forks to send into dangerous situations isn't one of them. Sure, some polities make all forking illegal, but these are exceptions. For exoplanet exploration, the law is pretty much whatever the sponsor and gate owner agree upon, and the latter probably don't care all that much so long as the former are paying well enough and there's no threat to the gate.
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Alpha forks are illegal in
Alpha forks are illegal in most of the system, because of the can of worms it opens (who is the hypercorp owner? You, or which of the other 20 Alpha forks of yourself? Who is to be punished for this crime, you or your fork? Can you spawn an alfa fork to be tried and punished while you walk away?). There is some SOP for Firewall agents to "dissappear" and leave behind a fork of themselves before joining, but others simply go with the double life routine. Leaving all that aside, I doubt there is a need to identify everyone around you as an alpha, beta or whatever fork, thus being perfectly possible to plant said forks as living identities in different places with no real necessity to identify each ego by the serial number at all times.