Everliving - History | Starborne

Everliving - History

Tue Oct 04 2022 (Updated: Tue Oct 04 2022) - 4 min read


Background Briefing for Trusted Clients
Addendum 1: Historical information
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Last Updated: 05.10.2422
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"Immortality" as we know it was first achieved halfway through the 22nd century, through experiments with what is now known as Consciousness Transference Technology (CTT). The final breakthrough came from a team of Martian researchers financially supported by a handful of Commonwealth states, known as "the Samsara Project", who in 2159 managed to successfully transfer the mind of a terminally ill volunteer into the body of an unidentified 13 year old boy. While the procedure, and indeed the existence of the Samsara project, was not announced to the public until well after its success, Tianchao's research into the organization's history has revealed it to be the culminating moment in a long road of dangerous, questionably legal, and carefully concealed human experimentation.

Previous experiments by the team firmly established that the procedure to move a consciousness between bodies carried a high risk of madness in the transferred mind. Further research discovered that this danger increased exponentially with the age of the host bodies, and for safety's sake even a successful procedure would have to be repeated time and time again with new hosts. Nevertheless, after the first successful test the project's leadership and major sponsors began to line up for the procedure, to secure their own chance at renewed youth and eternal life.

Wider society was horrified. Especially problematic was the need for a functioning brain and body to receive the transferred consciousness, as the original personality of the host was always destroyed in the process. Even in the Martian Commonwealth, traditionally supportive of individual autonomy, there was an outpouring of hostility towards what amounted to ritual murder. The Immortals were characterized as “vampires," consuming the lives of others to prolong their own, and the outcry increased tremendously as it became clear that children were the ideal host bodies for the procedure.

As a slim majority of Martian states began to endorse bans on CTT, a major concern within the project was that the Assembly might try to pass a general ban on the practice throughout the Commonwealth. Public dissent within territories controlled by the Immortals was already widespread, although it was often quickly and brutally suppressed.

To fight the tide, Everliving was founded in 2168, in an effort to change public perception towards the Immortals and CTT. Supported by the substantial pooled resources of the Immortals, Everliving highlighted the potential benefits of the technology for wider society, paid vast sums to attract prominent researchers, and waged a successful PR campaign on behalf of the project’s goals. Over the following decades CTT slowly became an accepted part of Martian culture, and the ranks of the Immortals grew as new research proved that discarding a host body before it hit puberty completely eliminated the risk of graft rejection and madness. Due to their now exclusive use of child hosts, the Immortals became collectively known as the Children of Mars.

As their influence and power expanded, the Children began to allocate more resources to scientific research and development. Publicly claiming a desire to make the technology more attainable and eventually eliminate the need for sentient hosts, in truth the Children mostly worked towards maintaining their exclusive status and making their new immortality more comfortable. However, their continued involvement in advanced biological research led to the group becoming well known as a leader in the fields of medical technology and bioengineering, even as they continued more ethically dubious research away from the public eye.

One of Everliving’s ongoing goals is the refinement of the Consciousness Transference Procedure. After years of research, a major breakthrough was achieved via “partial transfers”, which replaced only part of the host’s psyche rather than the whole. There were high hopes that partial transfers would allow an adult host’s brain to accept a “stitched together” consciousness rather than rejecting a full transfer outright. While this ultimately proved unsuccessful, these so-called “imprinting” procedures did allow Everliving to alter and even customize a target’s psyche. The Children used it to mass produce fanatically loyal servants, called "serfs" who would serve them unquestioningly. One side effect of the mass application of such treatments however, was wide-ranging levels of mental instability in certain subjects, which could over time lead to madness. While the organization's leadership has denied such accusations, it is believed that research into this property ultimately led to the creation of the Marauders by Everliving circa 2301.

As Everliving’s biotechnology improved and the wealth and status of the Children grew, the group took increased pains to safeguard their research and robustly defend their interests. This included the development of their own warships and bases of operation. In recent decades, Everliving has come under increased scrutiny following a major leak in 2384 surrounding its ties to the Marauders. While criticism of the group within the Commonwealth has been muted, the Union of Sol and the Lunar Directorate have both strongly condemned Everliving as a corrupt organization and an abhorrent perversion of nature. However, this would not be the first time the Children have faced public disapproval, and it is unlikely to be the last. Thoroughly embedded into both the government of the Martian Commonwealth and the MPL's board of directors, while the organization of Everliving may be vulnerable to criticism, the Children have worked to make themselves virtually untouchable.

While unbiased information on Everliving's current projects is difficult to secure at any given moment, tracing their affiliated organizations is often one of the best ways to track their interests. For instance, the MPL's aggressive foray into the Spiral Expanse at the behest of its Chair of the Board, Child of Mars Gwayne Erebus, should be watched with suspicion. The relative lack of regulations or law enforcement on the Frontier would be an ideal arena for Everliving to continue their research unimpeded, and Tianchao scouts have confirmed the presence of Everliving ships moving through the region.

[Further information has been restricted]