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Cyberware in Society (5k)

Despite what people want you to believe, cyberware isn't everywhere and on everyone. For a start, it's too expensive. When a basic single cyberleg will cost the average person 12% of their annual earnings, they begin to wonder why they'll need it.

Thus the average person doesn't use it, no matter how much they wish they could or what the media claims. By the same token, a lot of the gangs don't use it either. This may not be because of the cost (with the amount of scav a gang can get, money usually isn't the issue) but probably because they have no access to a surgeon who will install it for them (or keep them alive during the operation). And when they do, it'll probably cost 5-10 times more then it would normally.

Another misconception of cyberware, is that it's very easy to hide. This is only true if you have plaskin sprayed on top for that extra cost. And even then, with the trained eye, its easy to spot where the meat ends and the metal begins.

However, if you have the money, cyberware can be yours. There is no real stigma involved with having it, and no special process you need to go through to get it. Just have the money.

Cyberware (and the more restricted areas of bioware) can replace and upgrade pretty much any part of the human body. You can replace your limbs, your eyes, any of your basic sensors, add armour to your skull or spine, replace your internal organs, upgrade certain organs - if you have the money, there is almost nothing you can't do. However, you cannot replace your brain or your spinal column. Technology has not gotten to that stage yet. The law is also a bit fuzzy on cybernetics and cyborgs. A brain in a jar (The Donovan Treatment) doesn't have any rights. So what about a brain in a cyborg? In addition, the more cyberware and the more like a cyborg you become, the more public opinion starts to sway against you. In the publics' eye, you become more like an android and opinion is still hostile towards androids.

So who does use it to give it such a high image?
Sanction Ops, corporate body guards, the military, and those with the big bucks, including some notorious renegades. As with everything, it's the small group of people with the high profiles and media attention that make you think something is more common than it actually is.

And depending on the profession of those who use it, it will probably scream lots about what you do for a living. Sanctioned Ops use gear that will increase their survival and reactions when they drive their vehicles, thus using limbs controlled by skill programs.
Gang members use intimidation and weaponry, strength enhanced limbs and other visible devices.
The military uses anything that will allow them to kill the other guy more quickly than they can be killed.
The Corporations, it seems, are the subtle ones in this respect. They use cyberware than is concealable and won't make them stand out. Retractable weapons, limbs covered with bio skin to make them appear normal, and the like.

The average person is not unaware of cyberware - how can they be with the all the media hype and the fact that multicorps like GenTech are trying to sell it to them day-in, day-out?. If they see it on the streets, they won't blink. Depending on what is on show, they may or may not be more interested than normal, but all heads don't turn when a cyberman turns up.

What is exceedingly common though, is the plug. And in this respect, a lot of the population of PZs can be expected to have one. A plug is used to connect to certain computer systems, and a plug can be the start of a large skill libary. Almost everyone who wears a suit also wears a plug.

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