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I've repeated all this fine print in the notes section, where it'll be easier to read (esp. with the small and medium image versions).

BIONIC AUGMENTATION:

MACHINE MEN (and Women)


While the field of medicine in general has benefited greatly by the development of the Matter Assembler, the particular specialty of internal bionic reconstruction and augmentation may have received the biggest technological boost. Bionics patients used to have to endure numerous slow and painful surgeries, and lengthy periods of recovery and physical therapy afterwards. Nowadays, rebuilding and reinforcing the human body is almost trivial. Most internal cybernetic components can be Assembled directly into the human body-- where they are sealed off and safe from the oxidation effect. The need for manual surgery is greatly reduced, and only external parts, if required, need to be manufactured conventionally.

The public generally accepts the need to perform this type of body modification on severely injured accident victims, where the patient can be brought back to a resemblance of normal physical condition quickly (emphasis on "normal"). However, the public generally opposes using bionic implants to enhance the human body-- to increase one's strength, speed and endurance far beyond those of the fittest of "ordinary" humans.

Although the laws of most industrialized nations prohibit such "upgrades", there does exist a thriving underground of "chop-shops" that use illicit (and often obsolete and substandard) technology to upgrade anyone able to afford their fees and take the risks.

Due to the increasing threat (real and imagined) of super-powered "cyber-criminals", there is a very small but growing support for the need to outfit police and military forces with their own mechanically- enhanced bionic solders to deal with "cyber-gangs".

Some folks even clamor for their governments to develop whole "cyber-armies", as they believe that certain terrorist groups and disreputable governments are secretly doing the same. Presently, the evidence for such paranoia is extremely weak, and such people are usually dismissed as conspiracy theorists, for the moment.




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