Polyhymnia

GURPS Transhuman Space, 150 points

For a feal, consider this: Super Massive Black Hole, featuring Naya Rivera

In the year 2100, the world has changed a lot. So have the people. Baseline humans, running around with only the genes God gave them, are passe. Genetics, electronics and nanotechnology have all advanced to the point that most congenital defects and injuries can be cured, if you’ve got the price. Artificial Intelligences roam the net, and in some places are granted full citizenship. Vat-grown humans fight in our wars and struggle for emancipation. Cat girls aren’t just a kinky Japanese manga trope, but valued members of personal security details. Humans, or something like it, live in orbit, under the sea, on Mars, and even in the asteroids. Walking on the moons of Jupiter in a rented cyber shell via telepresence isn’t just science fiction, it’s something you can do yourself.

Additionally, a new science has emerged, memetics. Memetics is the bastard great grandchild of 21st century propaganda and advertising. Propaganda and advertising are crude blunt instruments compared to modern memetics, which can propagate an idea in a targeted population and leave the rest of the world oblivious. Like all sciences, its uses are both beneficial and detrimental, depending on the intent and foresight of the originator. If you’re interested in more details see Toxic Memes.

Also be aware that the Lesbian Separatists are still around, and have their own colony in L4, Margaret (High Frontier, p102) (and I swear to God this is Cannon for the setting, not my own invention).

The Characters

All of the characters work for Hart Security, in its 2100 incarnation. The company is now run by Olivia Hart, grand daughter of the founder, J. Marcus Hart. While the company in its founding tended to be rather direct and preferred kinetic solutions to problems, those wild west days are in the past. The modern Hart Security has reformed its public image and refined its practices since the unfortunate incident in Miami in 2047. While colorful early agents such as Vladimir Hinatsu might solve a problem by shooting up a bar, the modern agent is expected to resolve matters without attracting the attention of law enforcement authorities. Characters are 150 points and can use any of the racial templates from Transhuman Space which are suitable for operations on Earth’s surface. This includes some unusual options, such as a cyberdoll (a cybernetic shell with artificial intelligence intended to pass for a real human), uplifted dogs, and Felicias (human feline chimeras prized for the competence at security work and their beauty).

The First Adventure

Intriguingly, one communal entertainment form that survives, more or less unchanged, is the exclusive nightclub. In this realm, barriers to entry are a large part of the point – half the thrill is the validation of being admitted. Some of these rarefied institutions have moved into virtual environments, but a good number of them – most of the successful ones – still maintain physical clubs. Making one’s clientele jump through hoops seems to make a club that much more desirable.

The nightclub world is appallingly cutthroat. Profoundly vulnerable to the tides of opinion, the average nightclub lasts three weeks. Producers struggle to find some trick to draw critical mass. Brutal memetic warfare rages across the club world as they fight to hold on to the next Friday night.

One eerily long-lived regular of this sparkling wasteland is the legendary Polyhymnia. Never the same location twice, never the same experience, and perhaps most important . . . never a clear way to get inside. Its clientele, night after night, is washed in on a memetic tide and trickles out with the dawn, perhaps never to attend again. Every one regards it a privilege. Perhaps only Julian Cressida, Polyhymnia’s producer, could manage such a coup. One of the pioneers of modern memetics, slightly tinged with scandal from his stint in the Thai Memetics Group, Cressida uses subtle memetic engineering to draw in the guests he chooses for each iteration. No guests know where–or why–they’re going until they arrive. It is the ultimate in exclusivity.

That very exclusivity has kept Polyhymnia alive for 12 years, an unheard-of run. Large memenets devote themselves to tracking and predicting the club’s movements. Club producers around the world biosculpt their staff in mimicry of Polyhymnia’s, in hopes of luring gullible club-chasers.

Julian Cressida’s corpse was found a week ago. He’s been dead for 15 years. And his brain is fully intact.

Something is very, very wrong.