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“I thought the Gathering of Champions had sent that demon Pestilence packing! What are these damned things? Some left-behind of that monster’s?!”

Infestus[]

Cyberhellhound BlackSteel-corrupted AA-10 Bottweiler aka ‘Viralator’, ‘Cybermange’, ‘Plaguedaggit’

The Infestus is a BlackSteel-corrupted AA-10 Bottweiler. The influence of BlackSteel makes them look even more skeletal, with a leathery, baggy, covering that looks like rotted skin or badly weathered plastic sheet. 

Infestuses are dangerous because they carry colonies of BlackSteel-altered malnano---corrupted nanotech---that can infect and destroy technology and biology alike. Some of these nanites can induce effects that last for days, or even weeks, and permanently cripple and maim victims. The only saving grace is that they cannot produce the nanites themselves, but must be kept supplied in the field with the ‘black nano’, somewhat controlling their range of operations. 

Because of their lack of ranged weaponry, Infestuses rely on other BlackSteel spawn with ranged combat capability to pin down and distract opponents while the cyberhellhounds close to biting and clawing range.

Infestuses have all the aggression and hatred of a rabid attack animal, but with the cunning restraint of a cold calculating predator. They will often stalk unsuspecting prey for days, looking for an opportunity to strike. Unleashed against the villages and communities around the BlackSteel Citadel, Infestuses have been known to maliciously slay farm and household animals. herd livestock away to their destruction, and infect children with crippling nanite attacks. They are also known to sabotage travellers’ equipment and terrorize them, picking off members of traveling parties night by night. 

Infestuses were encountered roaming in packs of six to eighteen individuals, near the BlackSteel Citadel. They were also encountered accompanying BlackSteel raiding and ‘headhunter’ parties. Infestuses and EShemar Kantaran (Shemarrian Wolves) are natural enemies who will attack each other on sight. 

Abilities[]

Infectus
Type BlackSteel Abomination
Class Corrupted Robot
Crew Corrupted Robot Intelligence
Original Tribe BlackSteel
MDC By Location
Head 60
Main Body 160
Foreleg (2) 60
Hind Leg (2) 80
Physical Size
Height 3-4 ft
Length 5 ft
Width 2 ft
Weight 450 lbs
Physical Attributes
IQ 16
PS 35 Robotic
PP 20
SPD 170 mph
Leaping 20 ft up/across

80 ft > 60 mph

Swim Speed 10 mph
Maximum Depth 500 ft
Power System Nuclear ?
Other Attributes
Sensors
Standard Sensors Robotic
Addition Sensor1 Motion Detector
Additional Sensor2 Molecular Analyzer
Additional Sensor3 Detect Radio Emissions
Special Systems
Cybernanite Repair Unknown
Special System 1 Adaptive Camouflage
Special System 2 Self-Destruct
Special System 3 Black Steel Traits
Special System 4 Acidic Ichor
Special System 5 Sense PPE
Weapon Systems
Primary Weapon Bite
Secondary Weapon Nanites

Infectus have the insidious ability to infect other beings, organic and inorganic a like, making them quite dangerous to life and technology.

Sensor Systems[]

Motion Detector[]

100 ft range.

Molecular Analyzer[]

Track by smell 80%

Detect Radio Emissions[]

Infestuses can pick up and track radio emissions; 70%

Special Systems[]

Adaptive Camouflage[]

The baggy tattered covering is actually a form of adaptive fabric that changes color and texture to match the ‘bot’s surroundings. When not actively mimicking the ‘bot’s surroundings, however, it has the look of diseased, flacid, loose skin. -20% to others to detect ambush/concealment, and only a 20% chance of showing up on thermal sensors. 

Self-Destruct[]

Standard. Just as ARCHIE-3’s ‘bots will destroy all evidence of themselves, the BlackSteel also leaves little trace of its creations. Completely obliterates itself (1d4x100+250 to immediate vicinity, and 2d4x10 MD to a 10 ft radius). Any remains will be a black slag-like material that slowly evaporates away with the taint of evil.

BlackSteel Traits[]

Acidic Ichor[]

If destroyed, Infestuses leak a corrosive ichor not unlike powerful battery acid. This makes destroying the ‘bots near sensitive equipment a risky undertaking. Typically a destroyed Infestus will splatter in a 3d6 ft radius beyond its normal self-destruct radius, its fluids doing 1d6 MD per melee for 1d6 melees. Immediately dosing the splatter with a powerful base substance, or diluting it with copious amounts of water will stop or slow the damage.

Sense PPE[]

Infestuses can ‘smell’ PPE and active magic, 100 ft range. 

Vulnerabilities[]

Silver[]

Silver weaponry does DOUBLE damage to BlackSteel creations. If a called shot of 20+ (modified) strikes the skull or chest area with silver, the tainted container/CPU/powerplant will be struck and an explosion of 6D6 MDC to a 3ft. radius will erupt and annihilate the Black-Steel... and decommission the ‘bot (self-destruct will still go off, however).

Holy Magic[]

Attacking with Holy Magic will cause the normal materials of the ‘bot to expel the BlackSteel. The ‘bot will still fight on using its original programming, but it will lose its viciousness and malevolent cunning (reduce initiative by HALF), and BlackSteel properties, and all other aspects of its operation remain unchanged. However, the expelled BlackSteel will remain a threat if picked up and incorporated into other machines. 

Weapons Systems[]

Bite[]

Range Melee
Damage Restrained Bite/Nip 1d6x10 SDC
Damage2 1d4 MD
Damage3 Full Strength 3d6 MD

Infestuses retain the powerful jaws of their origin design.

Nanites[]

Infestuses can infuse those they bite with malign nanomachines (malnano) that can do various detrimental effects. The BlackSteel seems to have acquired a deep knowledge of malnano used elsewhere in the megaverse, enough to devise its own improved versions of the mal-tech.

The real danger from Infestus bites is that after a violent encounter with the ‘bots, victims may not realize that the attack is still ongoing, and therefore be caught offguard when incubating nanites delivered in a previous bite attack suddenly go active and start rampaging through their bodies. 

An Infestus can only carry one form of malnano, but can carry up to 25 doses of it. Infestuses CANNOT generate new doses, but must return to the BlackSteel Citadel to be resupplied (though some observers have seen Infestuses ‘kiss’, possibly transferring mouth-to-mouth fresh supplies of nano-munitions). 

Devourers[]

The most blatantly vicious form, devourers instantly begin to disassemble organic and inorganic materials alike, in an effect akin to acid. These eat away at materials, doing 3d6 MD for 1d6 melee rounds. Normal SDC beings are reduced to organic sludge within seconds. 

Cyber-Rabies[]

These nanites attack an organic victim’s nervous system, attaching themselves to nerve endings and interfering with a person’s ability to move. Victims will be beset by convulsions, severe trembling, trouble breathing (causing the person to alternately choke and scream as their diaphragm muscles convulse).

In any event the toll on the victim is terrible; the victim’s nervous system is swisscheesed with damage, and long term problems like acute arthritis loom in their future sooner than they’d fear. 

Incubation: 1d4 minutes

Duration: 8d6 hours

Effects: The victim loses control of their voluntary muscles, going into muscle tremors and herky-jerky movements when they try to move their limbs; NO Initiative, -2 APM, and reduce all bonuses for physical movement by HALF. Just standing up is nearly impossible; the victim must roll under their P.P. (-2) or fall down. P.E. is HALVED, as the lungs spasm, cough, and choke.

If not treated, the Cyber-Rabies does eventually burn out, but victims must make a roll versus non-lethal poison (16 of better) or suffer the following long-term damage: -1 to initiative, -1 P.E., -2% to skills requiring fine motor control, and has a 20% chance of developing arthritis-like symptoms within the next 2d4 years. 

Treatment: Cyber-Rabies can be successfully countered with specially programmed counter-nanites, or generous use of Purge spells.

Grot-Nano[]

This is a straightout malicious nanotech infection intended to disfigure. 

Incubation: 1d4 hours

Duration: P.B. loss is permanent

Effects: Attacks the dermal layers, raising thick welt-like scars, bleeding pimples, ‘spider ‘ rashes, swelling, and discolored, rough, skin. Victims will suffer -2d6 P.B. 

Treatment: Specially programmed counter-nanites, or generous use of Purge spells (the use of the latter will reduce the P.B. damage by HALF). Once the nano has run its course and is flushed out of the system, cosmetic surgery and regenerative treatments can restore the abused tissue, but only about 2d4x10% of the victim’s original P.B. be restorable by most conventional therapies. 

BrainScram[]

This particular version of m-nano is related to Sens-Dep, but attacks the brain directly and with an opposite effect; it overstimulates the brain, lighting up the whole sensory spectrum with such intensity that the victim can’t think straight, can’t make sense of everything they are feeling/experiencing, and lapsing into unconsciousness, plagued by MASSIVE headaches. 

A more advanced form of BrainScram, called ‘Shoc-Lite’ on the streets, is longer-lived (3d4 hours) and can be remotely turned on and off by a transmitted command. 

Incubation: 4d6 minutes

Duration: 1d8 hours

Effects: Victims must roll under their M.E. every five minutes or be simply overwhelmed by sensory overload; lose all initiative, HALF APMS, NO bonuses, and -20% to all skill rolls. If the victim loses 3 rolls in a row, they must then roll under their P.E. to keep from passing out. Even if the victim is asleep, they will be plagued by vivid, terrifying, nightmares and delusional sensory input. 

If not treated, the BrainScram does eventually burn out, but victims must make a roll versus non-lethal poison (16 of better) or suffer the following long-term damage: -1 to initiative, - 1 to Perception., and -3% to skills requiring tactile senses (like Pick Pockets or Pick Locks).

Treatment: If applied quickly enough, powerful anti-seizure medications can reduce the effects of BrainScram by HALF.

Sens-Dep (aka ‘Black Out’)[]

One of the more common and favorite m-nano is sens-dep, or sensory deprivation, nano, that attacks the senses. Sens-dep nano blocks vital connections such as the optic nerve, auditory nerves, and sensation. Trapped inside their own heads, unsure of their circumstances, many victims wind up wondering if they’re alive or dead, and can go insane from the experience. 

Incubation: 1d4 hours

Duration: 8d6 hours

Effects: Victim loses all senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell) and becomes trapped inside their own head for the duration of the attack. Victims must roll versus their M.E. or can suffer coming out of the experience with a random insanity. 

Treatment: Powerful stimulants (such as Juicer harness drugs (can dull the effects of the sens-dep, restoring SOME sensation to the victim and removing the risk of insanity (reduce penalties by HALF). Telepathic contact with the victim will also help keep them sane. 

Adrenal-Stop[]

This variety of m-nano attacks a victim’s adrenal system, clamping down on a person’s ability to produce adrenaline and sustain physical activity---a victim simply cannot engage in anything physically exerting---like fighting or fleeing, without becoming extremely fatigued, short of breath, and rapidly burnt out. 

The BlackSteel version is even longer lasting than the Black Market version, and has more profound side effects. 

Incubation: 2d6 minutes

Duration: 4d6 hours

Effects: Victim fatigues 2-4 times as fast (roll a 1d4, with ‘1-2’ meaning double fatigue rate). -1 to strike, parry, dodge, and reduce Speed by 1/4.

If not treated, the Adrenal-Stop does eventually burn out, but victims must make a roll versus non-lethal poison (16 of better) or suffer the following long-term damage: -1 to initiative, - 2 P.E..

Treatment: Powerful stimulants and artificial adrenaline analogues can supply what’s being cut off, though the recipient will feel even more like $&$# even with correct dosages. 

Cyber-Palsey[]

This insidious m-nano starts firing off the voluntary muscles left and right, inducing an epileptic seizure. 

Incubation: 4d6 minutes

Duration: 1d4 hours

Effects: The victim loses control of their voluntary muscles, going into muscle tremors and herky-jerky movements when they try to move their limbs; NO Initiative, -2 APM, and reduce all bonuses for physical movement by HALF. Just standing up is nearly impossible; the victim must roll under their P.P. (-2) or fall down. 

If not treated, the Cyber-Palsey does eventually burn out, but victims must make a roll versus non-lethal poison (16 of better) or suffer the following long-term damage: -1 to initiative, -2 P.E., -2 SPD, -5% to skills requiring fine motor control, and -1 to Sense of Balance. 

Treatment: If applied quickly enough, powerful anti-seizure medications can reduce the effects of Cyber-Palsey by HALF.

Gimp-Weave[]

An m-nano corruption of so-called Muscle Weave, Gimp-Weave grows strong polycarbon fibers throughout the muscles and joints of the body, producing a stiff, subdermal net that actually fights a person’s ability to bend and move freely. The victim actually gains some small amount of extra SDC, but loses considerable mobility. 

A more advanced version of Gimp-Weave, known as ‘smart-gimp’, allows for freedom of movement, but instantly tightens up when stimulated by certain microwave frequencies. Infestuses are known to carry both forms; the latter known to affect victims who later run into higher-echelon BlackSteel abominations. 

Gimp-Weave’s biggest drawback is its slow incubation rate before it becomes effective. However, that is part of its insidious nature; victims may not know they are infected with anything until the first symptoms appear days later. 

Incubation: 2d4 days (half that if the victim is a Juicer; the Juicer-aug seems to speed the incubation process)

Duration: Permanent

Effects: +4d6 SDC, but reduce P.P. by 2d6, reduce APMs, Strike, Parry, Dodge, and Roll bonuses by HALF, and reduce Speed to 1/4.

Treatment: Gimp-Weave can only be removed by extensive nano-therapy that dismantles the nanofibres...the process takes 3d6 days...or powerful magic therapies like the Restoration spell.

Zombie Nanites[]

This specific form of malnano infects metal body armors worn by organic beings. The infected armor suddenly breaks out as if being rapidly rotted by fungus, with tendrils piercing the flesh of the wearer. The nanittes quickly knit themselves into an exoskeleton that ‘puppet-walks’ the victim against their will, turning them into a shambling zombie-like biot-bot. Their movements will be jerky and convulsive, and they tend to telegraph their moves easily enough that others stand a good chance of dodging and avoiding the cyber-zombie, but the fact remains that their colleague is trapped and being used to attack them. 

It is possible for a victim of this attack to survive, if the zombie-bot can be restrained and kept from hurting others and its wearer. 

Incubation: 1d4 minutes

Duration: Conditionally permanent. The zombie-bot draws its power from the entrapped victim, and can keep moving for as many minutes as the victim has P.E. Increase duration by 50% if the victim has Superhuman P.E. (such as Juicers or Crazies), and DOUBLE if Supernatural. At the end of the active duration, the zombie-bot will go dormant until the core-victim recovers their P.E. (though the robotic exoskeleton will still serve as a straitjacket for the entrapped victim), whereupon it will again rampage until either its crew victim dies or the armor is destroyed. 

Effects: Turns metal body armors into drone robot exoskeletons that rampage, attacking anybody nearby. The ‘Armor-Zombie’ retains the original MDC of the infected armor, but has a Supernatural P.S. of 30, a Speed of 14, and has 4 actions/attacks per melee, but no bonuses in hand to hand combat. Ranged weapons already held in the hands can still be fired, but count as Shooting Wild. 

Cyborgs and Power Armors CANNOT be ‘zombified’ by this form of nanite. 

Treatment: Destroy the armor and free the person inside. If the core victim is killed, the zombie-armor dissolves into a metallic slag and corrosion dust.

Programming/Skills[]

  • Math: Basic 98%
  • Language (Understanding) American, Spanish, Euro, Gobbley, Splugorth, Dragonese all at 80%
  • Climb 70%/0%
  • Detect Ambush 60%
  • Detect Concealment 70%
  • Land Navigation 94%
  • Military Etiquette 98%
  • Escape Artist 65%
  • Herd Cattle 70%
  • Identify Plants and Fruits 90%
  • Intelligence 95%
  • Prowl 75%
  • Streetwise 45%
  • ID Undercover Agent 80%
  • Swimming 90%
  • Tracking (People) 85%
  • Tracking (Animals) 80%
  • Tailing 95%

Combat[]

Attacks Per Melee 6
Bonuses
Initiative +2
Dodge +5, +7 running > 70 mph
Parry +3
Auto Dodge Unknown
Strike +4
Roll +2
Pull Punch +5
Disarm +2
Entangle Unknown
Knockout/Stun Unknown
Critical Strike Natural 18-20
Attacks
Full Punch Claw 2d4 MD
Head Butt 1d4 MD
Body Block/Jumping Attack 1d6 MD

Infectus are melee combatants who love to infect organic life with their mal-nanites, roaming in small packs like wild dogs.

Infestus Teeth and Claws are particularly jagged, and wounds inflected with them will take 50% longer to heal naturally

Body Block/Jumping Attack has a 55% chance of knocking targets of 800 lbs’ weight or less off their feet.

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