The Gift.   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Narrator
 GM, 5 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 05:31
The Gift

The Gift is exceedingly rare. Where Azra is but a legend, something no one believes but many heard of… the Gift is not even a rumor.  Every time we see people of the Badlands witness the gift there are at a complete loss… there is never “I’ve heard about people like you” or “there were rumors” or “my grandfather used to tell a story” ....

Of course there are exceptions - high ranking Totemists like Penrith seems to be aware of the Dark Ones and the Gift.  Then of course there are Abbots.  There are also individuals made aware of the Gift in one way or another - Quinn, Widow, Sunny.

The point however is that a group of Gifted traveling together is very very unlikely.  A group of Gifted staying under radar - is very very unlikely.  Combine it with overpowering nature of the Gift… basically I would rather not allow player characters to have the Gift.

They might have dormant gift though (more info to come..)
Bone Flower
 player, 1 post
Tue 8 May 2018
at 16:17
The Gift
I think the Gift - as it sets apart xia the Gift - is kind of a game breaker. But Feng Shui inadvertently addresses that by making everyone a kind of xia with a power pool anyway.

The various archetypes all have Chi, Scroungetech, Sorcery etc to power Schticks. Pretty much everyone is going to have a gift, just not The Gift

The easy way to handle that might be to give characters (either PC or NPC) who have The Gift an extra reserve of Power Points and a flat bonus to Initiative (or the ability to buy it out of their power points) for each advance of The Gift they take.

I don't think we need to start with an MK's as Player Characters but I can see ways that things could emerge in play that would require a way to address it.
Bone Flower
 player, 3 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 17:50
The Gift
Moved from Lore for clarity:

Narrator:
I'll have a thread about the Gift were we can discuss it in more details... but short version...

When Bajie healed Sunny he needed a manual and technological component (very specific needles) which suggests tech (why not any needles if this is just a spiritual exercise, what do needles actually do? In fact similar needles were used on Tate and "drained" him of the gift... removed the nano-bots perhaps?)


That's pretty clearly acupuncture. That carries a pretty clear spiritual component. Wouldn't necessarily HAVE to, but in wuxia, that's the trope. Spirit matters, right matters. Love, loyalty and bravery transcend death.

Narrator:
Cressida's vision is a classical example of "on board" computer supplying host with information through subconsciousness (due to lack of proper interface).  This would not work well with genetic enhancements tech, but network of nano-bots cursing through Cressida's blood can handle visions fairly easily.

Henry's gift as well as general "gift is passed with blood" concept works both with genetic enhancement - gift is a part of the child DNA, and nano-bots (nanites can be transferred with bodily fluids, can implant a fetus, self replicate in a compatible host and manifest at a later time)


Question is where did Henry get exposed? Not Veil. Sunny doesn't have the gift and wasn't exposed to the Abbot's poison nano attack until after Veil was pregnant.

It's entirely possible to recast all of the xia in Into the Badlands as nano-powered cyborgs and, I suppose, it would remain at least adjacent to wuxia.

But who are xia and who are not? Sunny, Tilda, Quinn, Nathaniel, all the Butterflies? They all pull stunts that the cogs can't but do NOT have The Gift. Is it a separate strain of nano augmentation?

Again, in terms of game play it really only effects what words get used in the fiction, not what happens. For everyone who doesn't KNOW the truth, it's mystical phenomena. As the story progresses the source of The Gift may color the fiction and provide motivations for the Abbot and mysteries about what her monastery really is.
Narrator
 GM, 8 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 18:36
The Gift
If it was an acupuncture then any needles would do, but they needed a very specific devices from the Monastery

As for Henry, what do you mean Sunny doesn't have the gift?  Didn't you see episode 2 of the season 3.  Bajie clearly states gift is passed through blood and he doesn't think Veil had it, Sunny says it's impossible, but Lydia responds not necessarily - Sunny is a foundling AND when Waldo found him by the river he was wearing Azra medallion.

Sunny always had a gift, just dormant.  It's not a separate strain, it's the same strain but in passive mode... and yes it is possible that Widow, Sunny, even Moon and Quinn stand head and shoulders over other fighters is because they have shall we say "dormant Gift".  In case of Widow it's certain - we know she had gift (nanites), in case of Sunny it is likely (see above)... the rest - possible. :D

That doesn't mean we should dismiss spiritual - after all having gift is one thing but controlling it takes will, discipline, instinct - some might say - Spirit.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:38, Tue 08 May 2018.

Narrator
 GM, 9 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 18:47
The Gift
Also I don't think it will affect Wu Xia narrative in any way.

First of all, nanites don't really work like cyber enhancements and devices... think of them more like SW midichlorians or say "Dragon Blood".

More importantly Wu Xia in many ways is basically super heroes with Chinese flavor, who cares where super powers come from... dragon blood, chi, x-gene or nanites.

The one important aspect of Wu Xia when comparing to western supers is that Chi must to be mastered.  Luckily the gift is chaotic, uncontrolled and needs a lot of Mastering (there was always a learning curve for the Gifted but with the fall of the Old World current generation of Gifted gets neither training nor devices originally intended)
Bone Flower
 player, 1 post
Tue 8 May 2018
at 19:06
The Gift
Sunny has never manifested The Gift and it seems unlikely (again, not impossible) that he lost it as an infant. Is it dormant? Could be.

Another point - Into the Badlands draws a huge chunk of its inspiration from Journey to the West - a uniquely Chinese Buddhist story, and thoroughly rooted in spirituality and the mystic. So much so that's where Sunny Baije get their names.

Granted, that's not proof. Nor does that alter my observation that it really doesn't matter.

I would say, that in the case of wuxia, the source of the power does matter, kind of. Wulin are good guys. Morality, honor, loyalty matter. Those traits almost always reflect, ultimately, as power that is used for good and to defeat those that have technology, foreign backing or other secular advantages. That is, by it's very definition, spiritual.

All that said, The Gift being a technological advantage does create an interesting dynamic. Is it loose in the wild like a virus? Are Master and the Abbots are trying to control it. Maybe the Abbots don't know... Maybe the Master is running some kind of dark experiment? Perhaps they are ancient guardians of something? Found something and are trying to master it.

I get that there's a ton of interesting story there.

What that does raise is the question of, OK, so The Gift is technological and is the story equivalent of Chi. How do all the people without it do what they do?
Narrator
 GM, 10 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 19:55
The Gift
According to the producer the Journey to the West inspiration was simply "a warrior and a young boy traveling through trouble torn lands in search of enlightenment" - nature of the Gift or even it's existence do not affect this concept.

And yes Gift manifests at different times - in M.K. teens, with Flea (Minerva) in early tweens, Henry is not even a toddler and Bajie does say he never saw Gift manifest so early (implying he saw it manifest at different times).  M.K. mother didn't have the gift at all which so it might never manifest at all.  The gift can also be removed, very much mechanically - the needle machine in the Monastery.  It can also be tracked - note the scanner Abbots use in S2E6 which by the way appears to measure signal strength.  The scanner that Bajie fools by hiding under water - electric conductor that can serve to shield EM emissions and signals - say like the one produced by a colony of nanobots.

Master does not control the Gift, nor is it truly lose in the world (at least in the current form it can't be freely transferred to new hosts).  Gift is a lost technology from the old world tied to Azra and the current generation is struggling to master it just like any other lost tech.  They don't understand it, they can barely control it.  Master has ability to disable the gift, but can't implant it in others (mostly because disabling involves knocking out and extracting nanites, while implanting requires convincing nanites that new host is compatible and authorized)

So Gift isn't a tech you can give to a hero, you either born with it or you are not.  Mastering it requires patience and discipline and force of will.  People like Master are trying to recover this ancient power, but in the unlikely event that they succeed the results will probably be disastrous.

As for other people.  Well until season 3 non powered fighters displayed extreme prowess but no super human deed.  Even season 3 seems careful to stick to physics assisted deeds for none Gifted - for example when Moon flips over Widow he does so by trampoline of the Widow's blade - so it's not just his power that sends him high in the air.  So most skilled fighters are just that - skilled fighter, some extremely skilled fighters are - extremely skilled fighter honed by decade of kill or be killed practice... it is also possible that at least some have dormant Gift (Sunny, Widow)

***


Now I can throw away all the above in a instant if that clashes with what players want.  So Question:

What bothers you?  Why controlling inner Chi seems OK and spiritual; but controlling ancient self-replicating, autonomous, learning-capable nanobots seems wrong?

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:56, Tue 08 May 2018.

Bone Flower
 player, 2 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 20:44
The Gift
My problem, such that it is, is that all of the fighters routinely break physics. Some to lesser degrees than others, to be certain, but even Tilda ignores gravity, leverage and a dozen other physical laws that, in reality, even the most skilled swordsman or martial artist can't.

The Gift allows a larger degree (or scale to use the term from discussions of wuxia) of immunity to physical laws.

What allows the xia without The Gift to degree of freedom they have, I would argue is Chi. The Gift is something else. Maybe something extra. Maybe something technological. Maybe something technological that can replace Chi.

Now, we can simply say a sufficiently skilled fighter gets to say, "Thanks, no." to leverage, conservation of motion and the like without hurting my feelings at all. Rule of cool is the trump card, especially here.

Just so long as when I roll well, I can say, "I slide between his legs, hamstring him as I pass and plant my feet ending my slide behind him. I stand there, looking along my sword, wet with his blood,as a single drop falls into the dust."

I give no shits as to whether than happens because I'm too cool for physics or because I have Chi.
Narrator
 GM, 12 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 20:53
The Gift
Hmmm, techniques are unrealistic certainly, but I don't recall wire-fu in any non Gifted fight before season 3.  I am re-watching now though, maybe I am mistaken.

but yeah, unrealistic techniques seems to be dramatic exaggerations rather then indication of mythical powers.
Bone Flower
 player, 3 posts
Tue 8 May 2018
at 21:42
The Gift
They're there.

Tilda is not dead. let's start there. Any thoughts about the actual trauma of that chandelier falling on her? While not wire work, physics and human biology got trumped by cool factor - which, again, I am perfectly fine with. Tilda's sliding splits is more clearly wire work, but it's not over the top.

How many times has Minerva slid 40 feet, bent over backwards? Not super-obvious-run-across-the-bamboo wire work, but there's not a lot of regard for friction, balance or leverage. That little backward sprint up the wall outside of Veil's in season one? Sunny's 20 foot back flip from the street to the hood of Minerva's car earlier in that same scene?

Doesn't Minerva get kicked through a wall after a super cool (and physically impossible) bounce up?
Narrator
 GM, 13 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 00:33
The Gift
Well Minerva like I said is Gifted.  Master might have used the machine on her, but that doesn't mean Gift is gone, after all she continuously tries to reawaken it.

Survival against odds is not even Wu Xia that's just good old pulp.

I'll have to recheck Clipper Row fight from the first episode you are referring to, don't recall anything that required a wire.  In my book if the stunt needs no wire (just opponents that practice ancient art of attacking one at a time, standing still and open when attacked, and learning into opponents throws) it counts as "realistic" for the purpose of martial arts movies.

But I have to admit, season 3 is really messing with my "no wire-fu" statement.

Let me put it like this:
Your character is escorting a Gifted child, an abbot comes along, he has a scanner.  You need to hide... unfortunately unlike Bajie you do not have a convenient pool of water nearby... what do you do?  You character might not know much about the Gift, but you could work with an understanding that there is no magic... that neither gift nor scanner will break rules of physics.

Superhuman abilities - yes.  Supernatural - no.
Bone Flower
 player, 4 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 02:27
The Gift
I'm not certain it doesn't LOOK like magic. What other RF devices has anyone ever seen? A few things with wired connections, the most advanced of which is most likely a car starter.

Moreover, if Chi abilities are the world, it's not supernatural within the fiction, it's an understood quantity like an MRI or any other technological thing is to us. Just part of how the world works. Sunny and Minerva are the Connor MacGregor and Rhonda Rousey (or Cris Justino) of their world. What they do, everyone understands but not everyone has trained and worked to do. The Gift becomes the outlier and the thing everyone goes, "What the hell is THAT and how do I use it to my advantage?"

Minerva's Gift has been lost, but it still works? That's a "cake and eat it too" argument.
Narrator
 GM, 14 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 03:22
The Gift
The world appears to be our own, about 500 years in the future... chi powers seem unlikely.  With White House, Stature of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge I'll need some pretty strong evidence to accept this the world of Chi powers.

We've seen so far cars, trucks, electrical light, radio transmitters, industrial grade consoles, oil refineries, x-ray machines.  There are also needle machine and scanners the Abbots use.  We even get some nice close ups, for example scanner features single analog dial which shows higher readings when pointing in the direction of gifted person.

Widow's gift is not lost and she keeps trying to reawaken it.  Same applies to M.K. he lost his powers but Widow believes they are merely disabled and could be restored (which proves to be correct).  A rough analog could be a modern car with ignition off.  It's not going to go anywhere but a number of system are still running.  Or in computer games terms all active powers are disabled, but passive ones still work.

Now let me stress though, this is just a lore discussion, if players want chi powers - we'll have chi powers

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:24, Wed 09 May 2018.

Bone Flower
 player, 5 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 04:20
The Gift
It has been a discussion. Your vision matters too. You are player too - an especially important one, I'd say. Beyond that, if the game is to succeed it needs to be fun for you too.

As for the car ignition analogy: The way you're describing it sounds like Minerva has a restrictor plate on not the igntion off. My problem with that is she fights Nathaniel to a draw. What elevated his scale to that point?

The point of disagreement is whether or not the xia who do not have The Gift are doing things beyond what real world physics allows. I think we agree answer is, "Yes, but not by extreme amounts." I see a larger violation of real world physics than you.

The Gift allows for a much greater scale. On that we agree also.

Where things could break down is if player characters can't be as cool and awesome as Sunny and Minerva. Can a PC fly 50 feet through the air, deflecting a dozen arrows on the way? No. On that we agree.

My example of sliding through a target's legs, hamstringing him and ending up, standing behind him - to me that seems a reasonable. I don't need to explain that as chi or anything else. But I do think, given the setting, genre, established canon and the ruleset, with an Outcome of 2 or 3, that I should be able to do it.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:05, Wed 09 May 2018.

Bone Flower
 player, 6 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 12:47
The Gift
The larger point, that until this point we've missed by getting lost in the minutiae, is that trying to find a rule of the show's physics is a fools errand. The rules are what's dramatic, cool and fits the story.

We need to be mindful of that core truth. Part of why there was so much support for Feng Shui is it is built with that in mind.
Narrator
 GM, 17 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 15:15
The Gift
Just to come clean, I've decided not to post my full thoughts on the Gift.  I have a 3+ pages piece prepared but upon review it a) all GM information b) may contain spoilers c) unlikely to affect gameplay anyhow

If anyone is interested however I can post it in a closed group for a general show discussion.
Bone Flower
 player, 8 posts
Wed 9 May 2018
at 15:21
The Gift
I'd be interested to see it. If there's a document or something, you can rMail me a link.
Bone Flower
 player, 17 posts
 Ninja
Thu 10 May 2018
at 17:31
The Gift
While the discussion about whether or not The Gift is technological or mystic, let me ask this question.

Given: The Gift is technological.
Hypothesis: Nanite augmentation allows the violation of basic physics.

How's that proof work?

Barring gravity dampening, electro-magnetic repulsion, friction reduction etc. how does it allow the people with The Gift to do what they do?

Increased strength -eh... maybe. That might be a slightly less impossible proof. Not an easy one, mind you. Bones, leverage, muscle cells, nerve speeds...

Now, where current science, and things like CRISPR, point us is wound healing, oxidation prevention, epigenetic DNA revision and treatment of autoimmune disease. None of which is super sexy or going provide super powers. It could, however, very easily let you live to be a few hundred years old and be physically 25.

Point being - technology or magic? Doesn't matter, except as story.
Narrator
 GM, 32 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 18:08
The Gift
Give me specific examples I'll give you specific explanations.  So far I have not seen in the show anything that would require gravity dampening, electro-magnetic repulsion, or friction reduction.

High jumps are well within capability of enhanced strength - similar to how humans can jump high on the moon, not cause the gravity low, but because human muscles are strong enough to overcome it.

Nerve speed (reaction times) - distributed processing, alternative and superior pathways formed on the fly by nano-bots, wired responses.

Muscle strength - nanite infused muscle tissues that basically make muscles more of the metalo-organic (unless nanites are carbon based - you know like in Avatar - Na'vi bodies are reinforced by "naturally occurring carbon fibers") springs then human flesh.

Bones - reinforced with nano-mesh or even full nano coating.

Healing - even modern nano robots can clean blood vessels and stitch wounds, same nano robots that clean arteries are now being developed to seek and remove toxins and pathogens.

3 above in combination allow blocking blades with a hand, punching through stones, etc...

Pain inhibition or stimulating body chemistry - well that's just electric stimulation of right nerves.

Now shutting down a car engine or jump starting x-mas lights like we saw Abbots do - well that would require modulated EMP (even then of course won't work if xmas lights circuit is interrupted)

I have to admit sending an opponent flying 20 feet should not be possible, instead Gifted should be punching his/her hand straight through the opponent - I guess we have to write this one down to dramatic effect. ;)
Bone Flower
 player, 18 posts
 Ninja
Thu 10 May 2018
at 18:43
The Gift
One, easy and specific example: Castor and Nix jumping from Pilgrim's side to the scaffolding.

Now, before you say, they jumped. No.

Watch a high jumper or long jumper. They move in arcs.

Nix and Castor move in a straight line, not an arc. They spin. With no twist on take off.

It's classic wuxia. It cheats physics and logic. Nanotech augmentation of human performance doesn't reasonably explain it.

Assuming increased bone and muscle density, friction increases. All those cool slides take on an entirely different set of acceleration and deceleration. Depending on HOW dense things are, as they spin on scaffolding supports it probably bends. Increased load across small area.

There's no logical explanation. Science Fiction and Magic are the same thing. It's trappings added to a part of the fiction for internal consistency.

The point you're trying to make is that Badlands is Science Fiction, not Wuxia Fantasy.

In truth, it's both, maybe neither, purely.

Separated from dogma and labels - Liu and I have both said it, and maybe Morgan too - it doesn't matter. Whether you call it nanobots or chi or a magic user spell - it still breaks the rules. We're all here because we don't care that some boring physical truths got ignored to tell a cool story.

For the duration of THIS story. It's technology.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:55, Thu 10 May 2018.

Liu Manchu
 player, 4 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 18:59
The Gift
What Bone Flower said

In the past I've run a game like this and said 'well modern science allowed us to discover that Chi is actually a thing' And then you apply the scientific method to it and everything. Using this approach Chi doesn't violate the laws of physics, just the laws we know today

Just FYI there are scientific papers in China on the 'chion' the particle that carries chi, including experiments when they have measured the speed.

But even leaping can't be explained without violating the laws of physics: we look at the pressure at take off, the issues with viscosity of air... basically no super powers stand the light of physics.

We can also just 'not look too closely'. That's what most movies and books do. I'd also consider looking back at the tech of five hundred years ago, the tech of today, and realise we have absolutely no idea what will and won't be possible
Narrator
 GM, 33 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 19:26
Re: The Gift
Bone Flower:
Watch a high jumper or long jumper. They move in arcs.

Nix and Castor move in a straight line, no arc.


Watch the crossbow bolt, watch anything lunched with suffient trust - there is no perceptible arc over the short distance.

Bone Flower:
They spin. With no twist on take off.


Watch dancer maintain the spin or cat twist in the air... all using normal muscles.  Not to mention that initial trust clearly involved angular component, just stronger then normal humans can produce.

Bone Flower:
Assuming increased bone and muscle density, friction increases.


First, what makes you think nanites increase bone/muscle density rather then reinforce structurally.  Second friction is not a function of density.  Friction is a function of force and surface.  The only reason we even use mass in high school physics is because it's assumed we are dealing with a normal force on a flat surface (therefore mass and gravity give us force).  Third even if both density and friction are increased, so? that just means they need greater force to compensate - something nanite can easily provide.

Bone Flower:
Scaffolding, not designed to load bear across small areas, bends.


I am not sure if you mean whether it realistic should bend or should not.  Scaffolding in that sequence is metal, it can bear quite a bit which is why it can easily bear the weight of Castor and Nix.  It does bend as a result of Castors attack which is again considering Gifted strength is expected.

Bone Flower:
You're trying to make is that Badlands is Science Fiction, not Wuxia Fantasy.


Have you heard anyone in the show talk about Chi or Magic?  I rather think you are trying to make Badlands into oriental fantasy, while the show is post-apocalyptic sci-fi complete with "wonders of the old world".

****

Stylistically and narratively Badlands is WuXia, however the show is very careful to avoid any reference to Chi, Magic, Occult... While free with brain scans, electricity, internal combustion, chemo.  Signal to Azra does not require mythical power - it requires machinery, tower and a code book.

Therefore, I intent to take my leads from the show... you will not hear me talk about chi or magic. ;)

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:28, Thu 10 May 2018.

Narrator
 GM, 34 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 19:39
Re: The Gift
Bone Flower:
Whether you call it nanobots or chi or a magic user spell - it still breaks the rules.



That's the catch and the point I am trying to make. :) IT DOES NOT BREAK THE RULES.  If ever in this story you will come across Gifted as either ally or an advesary the Gift will not allow anything that I could not explain with hard(ish) science fiction.  I recommend you bear this in mind as one day your character life might depend on it. :D

Bone Flower:
For the duration of THIS story. It's technology.



For the duration of THIS story it's the Gift.  People of Badlands don't even have the concept of technology as we understand it.  But neither do they believe much in magic or supernatural... when they are sick they go to the doctor, not a shaman.

They do believe in the powers of the Ancient though, hence the Azra.
Bone Flower
 player, 21 posts
 Ninja
Thu 10 May 2018
at 20:00
Re: The Gift
I'd argue that they DO believe in the super natural. Penrith, Lydia... The truth of the things associated with that belief - that's as dicey a proposition as it is anywhere or anytime.

While shaman are often seen as witch doctors, that's not the entire truth of it. They're as much wise counselors and frontier psychologists as anything else. If a ritual to "cure bad luck" convinces someone to stop self sabotaging behaviors, did it work? Not quite as advertised, but the net result is the same. How likely they are to cure Marburg is another question entirely.
Morgan
 player, 6 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 20:03
Re: The Gift
One of the problems with human perception is that it takes things like gravity for granted, so when special effects people intentionally mess with that its hard to look at.

The trouble with the high jump without an arc is not that they need an arc, its that they moved to slowly, which in my opinion is just a camera trick.  From the IC perspective all the jumping took place faster than anyone could react to or even notice.

Basically the people with the gift active are so much stronger than their own weight would suggest they function as if earth was a low gravity world, like the way a human would on the moon, it looks wrong but physics still works.

The supernatural stuff is the glowing energy transfer stuff, but again that is just a cosmetic upgrade to Chi.
Narrator
 GM, 37 posts
Thu 10 May 2018
at 20:26
Re: The Gift
More or less what I am thinking.  They parry arrows as they sail through the air so they are they are likely move rather fast, what we see is a form of "bullet time".

The glow, there is no technological reason why nanites couldn't be made to emit light in certain conditions, common sense wise though it's rather like shouting out the names of the moves while performing them - unnecessary and might give away too much.

***

But let me make it clear, Feng Shui mechanics are still in effect, you can still do much of the Chi stuff... character can even believe in Chi.  We'll just avoid any suggestion that it's real until/unless show proves me wrong.

First rule of the Badlands - we do not talk about Chi. ;)

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:26, Thu 10 May 2018.

Narrator
 GM, 39 posts
Fri 11 May 2018
at 06:06
Re: The Gift
Not that it has anything to do with the game, but as a discussion between fans of the show - I have a question.

Do you feel that Azra and Gift are somehow connected?
Bone Flower
 player, 24 posts
 Ninja
Fri 11 May 2018
at 12:13
Re: The Gift
The intent is to at least make it look that way. Everywhere you see the Compasses and symbol it is tied to an individual with at least a connection to The Gift if they don't have it.

It goes a fair distance to support the idea The Gift is some kind of technological artifact. It would hold up with all kinds of fiction that it's the lab where it came from, some kind of rally point where the engineered salvation of the world is to meet. Could be the mistaken or misunderstood thing like Zardoz from the film of the same name or Sanctuary from Logan's Run.
Narrator
 GM, 67 posts
Tue 29 May 2018
at 20:47
Re: The Gift
Again I do not believe this will matter in our game at all, but if you caught a trailer for Upgrade - that’s pretty much what I have in mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36PDeN9NRZ0

Of course,  there are plenty functional differences, for example STEM as far as I understand operates within limitations of human body (although it can say block pain by flooding the body with endorphins, or increase strength by upping adrenal production) while AZRA Tech can enhance human body with with nano reinforced bones and tissues… but that’s just specific abilities and limits.

The only two crucial differences as far as I am concerned is that AZRA Tech can colonize new hosts (by hijacking human reproduction), and fully interactive interface with the host that STEM has is broken for AZRA Tech so nanites do their best to assist the host who can’t communicate with them and in fact not even aware of them.