Mass Effect: Ghosts
Science of Biotics
Biotics is the ability of rare individuals to manipulate dark energy and create mass effect fields through the use of electrical impulses from the brain. Intense training and surgically-implanted amplifiers are necessary for a biotic to produce mass effect fields powerful enough for practical use. The relative strength of biotic abilities varies greatly among species and with each individual.
There are three branches of biotics. Telekinesis uses mass-lowering fields to levitate or impel objects. Mass-raising kinetic fields are used to block or pin objects. Distortion uses rapidly shifting mass fields to shred objects.
Most organic species are capable of developing biotic abilities, though there are risks involved. Biotics are the result of in-utero exposure to element zero. This usually causes fatal cancers in the victim, but in rare cases it coalesces into nodules within the fetus’s developing nervous system.
Technology: Biotics Training
Biotic implants and amplifiers only provide the potential to create coherent mass effect fields. Whether biotics can actually do so is largely determined by their training.
Biotics must develop conscious control over their nervous systems, sending specific electrical impulses to the element zero nodules embedded in their nerves. They are taught to use their implants and amps with biofeedback devices and physical mnemonics. Specific gestures or muscle movements fire the proper sequence of nerves to activate a certain skill.
Conatix Industries pioneered biotic training with the Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training program. Although BAaT did not achieve the desired results, many techniques taught are still used today.
Many Human think tanks are trying to develop some form of biotic super soldier. Most are benign efforts to create more flexible troops. Others, less publicly known, are unapologetic attempts to create Nietzschean supermen.
Technology: Biotic Amps
Biotics manipulate mass effect fields using dozens of element zero nodules within their nervous system that react to electric stimuli from the brain. Amplifiers allow biotics to synchronize the nodules so they can form fields large and strong enough for practical use. Amplifiers can improve a specific discipline or talent.
An implant is surgically-embedded interface port into which amps are “plugged in”. On humans, the implant is usually placed at the base of the skull for convenient access, though the user must be careful to keep it free of contaminants.
Implant ports can fit a variety of amps, and there is a growing market for modifications and add-ons. The finest quality implants and amps are manufactured by Asari artisans, but the Alliance’s L3 implants – first deployed in 2170 – are a significant step forward.
Technology: Life as a Biotic
Biotics possess extraordinary abilities, but they must live with minor inconveniences. The most obvious issue is getting adequate nutrition. Creating biotic mass effects takes such a toll on metabolism that active biotics develop ravenous appetites. The standard Alliance combat ration for a soldier is 3000 calories per day; biotics are given 4500, as well as a canteen of potent energy drink for quick refreshment after hard combat.
Another issue is electric charge. Electricity accumulated in starship drive cores must be discharged, and so must the electricity in a biotic user. Biotics are prone to small static discharges when they touch metal.
Unfortunately, human biotics also face suspicion and persecution, beginning with the popular misconception that they can read and control minds. Biotics symbolize the dehumanization of mankind to people philosophically or religiously opposed to gene modification and cybernetics. Militaries are the only organizations that always welcome biotics, offering them huge recruitment incentives.