WEIRD CYBER-FASHION, or What the Well-Dressed Booster is Wearing This Season
by Amy Luther
This article contains no specific cybernetics, but is a general essay on what forms extreme cyber-fashion might take in 2020.
Zippers are fun little add-ons which can be added to more places than you might think. Lips, eyes, and other orificies are obvious spots, but zippers are also great for subdermal pockets and flesh holsters. HC = .1 for an addition to a subdermal pocket, up to 1 pt for zippers which seal the eyes or other important spots.
Light Emitting Diodes in 2020 are probably not quite technically like the LEDs we're accustomed to nowadays, but the effect is about the same. LEDs are tiny glowing spots of light, in any color, which can be implanted subdermally or added to a cybernetic. They can be placed inside any part of the body for that great "flashlight-in-the-mouth" effect, and can spell out words, symbols, or patterns in any place desired. HC would probably be between .1 and 1 pt, depending on the complexity of design and the area covered.
Weird Interface Plugs
The standard locations for interface plugs are in the temple, neck, wrist, and the back of the skull. A few more radical locations have appeared on the market, most notably the Optical Interface in Chromebook 3 (p. 27), which allows a cyberoptic to be rotated in the socket to expose an interface port. But there are a lot more places to put an interface plug, and here are a few of them. Any spot which is not placed near a bone is assumed to be reinforced with a small backplate which prevents the plug from being ripped out of soft tissue. These spots can be fashion statements, or they can be placed to conceal them from a casual search. HC is as standard for interface plugs.
In the belly button, up the nose (occluding one nostril, naturally), inside the mouth (waterproofing of plug an additional 60eb, waterproof cable 80eb), inside any other orifice (waterproofing as per mouth), beneath the jaw on either side of the windpipe, in the ankle, replacing the nipples, in the palm of the hand, in one ear (impairing hearing), beneath the scrotum, replacing a fingertip (HC as per partial cyberfinger), on the tip of the tongue (impairing speech).
Interface plugs and cables can also be sculpted to look like anything at all: a cable tip that looks like a grabbing hand, a stereo jack, an old-style two-pronged electrical cord; a plug that looks like a miniature stylized mouth, an old-style electrical outlet, or a light bulb socket.
Clamps, Screws, Studs, and Piercings
Body piercing as a fashion is nothing new, but the advent of cybernetics has enabled fetishists to implant piercings a bit more serious than anything ever seen before. If you've ever seen extreme bondage gear, you can probably imagine what I'm talking about here ... of course, this stuff would be permanently implanted (a la Hellraiser) and not just worn. HC is up to the GM.
Display Pockets and Implanted Jewelry
Another aspect of cybernetic fashion are items which have been implanted in the skin so that they can be seen but not removed. Any small (and generally flat) object can be placed in its own specially sized, shallow subdermal pocket, leaving part of the object exposed to the air. Coins, credchip mosaics, jacket patches (which would now be skin patches, displaying the corporate logo or workgang symbol of your choice), old-fashioned paper money (laminated for protection), teeth (someone else's), beads, feathers, bits of non-functional electronics (like resistors), Decorative jewelry is especially popular -- imagine rings that will never come off, or pendants implanted into the skin of the chest. It's a bit harder to steal ... of course, when the thieves will rip your cyberarm right off your body, it's not much of a deterrent. But it looks neat and is tough to misplace. HC would be from .1 to .5.
Let your imagination run wild. Imagine techhair composed entirely of small chains, or barbed wire, or metal strips resembling tinsel. Prehensile hair, bright plastic teeth displaying the logo of your choice, razor blades implanted in a crest down the spine. Mirror the irises of your eyes, make your skin resemble that of an expensive leather briefcase, put solar panels in your scalp and fork your tongue.