Neophytes are a poorly understood, recent, phenomenon where some very rare (only a total of a roughly 100 in the current population of Oracle which stands at about seven million) humans are born as Technopaths. The theory so far is that it is a rare Nanotech reaction, possibly fusing themselves to the synapse and altering the brain and brain chemistry in combination with faulty tech and a genetic anomaly which nobody seems to be able to replicate yet.
They are true ghosts in the machine, as they are able to tap into the grid, see in AR as well as manipulate what other see in AR, manipulate technology at will such as a person cyberware or vehicles. As if that was not bad enough because there is no implants a Neophyte is virtually untraceable. Neophytes also have a telepathic link with other Neophytes creating a Hivemind. While this doesn’t strip a Neophyte of there will it does mean that they are an open book to other Neophytes. However, a Neophyte, with a strong enough will, can dominate a weak-willed or group of weak-willed Neophytes though is generally look down on.
Conversely Neophytes occasionally suffer from delusions themselves, that most Neophytes agree, guide and inspire them. This had been explained away as their minds unable to properly cope with the massive amount of information so their human mind defends itself in the form of vision and other bizarre delusions.
Due to the danger, a Neophyte poses to the general population it falls to OSEC to find, capture and train young Neophytes before they become a danger to themselves and others. Luckily most Neophytes are found young and are confiscated as wards of the state. For the public safety, they are sent to train in the Spire, a specialized building to contain and train them for the benefit or Oracle.
This is by no means perfect as finding rouge Neophytes becomes more difficult in the Oracle slums and near impossible in the Hive. However, the general understanding is the longer Neophyte remains untrained the higher the chances they become “glitchy” going mad due to being overwhelmed by their own power and eventually needs to be put down due to the damage they do to nearby tech.
Alphas: Cerberus Squad
With the advent of Neophytes came a very human response for countermeasures. Alphas are heavily genetically modified to the point one might consider not even calling them human anymore. They are expertly crafted after years of cultivation and trial and error. Originally a project to redesign humans for deep space/off world survival.
Alphas are raised and trained off-site outside of Oracle. Currently, they are being used to pair up with trained Neophytes to hunt, recover, and capture rouge Neophytes or ones that had slipped through the cracks acting to protect/assassination of Neophytes partners at need should they themselves go rouge or glitchy.
All Alphas are considered a non-people, property, owned by OSEC and a result they are all branded, barcoded and tagged as products of the corporations. They are all male. Their names are broken into three parts, bar code, military designation (taken from the NATO phonetic alphabet) and a call sign earned from there squad mates.
Alphas have enlarged hearts with low resting heartbeats. Their blood is copper based and thus is a bright blue. This carries significantly more oxygen in their system and resists low-temperature environments. This also leaves copper deposits in the eyes giving them all a copper metallic eye color and blackening there sclera, this also allows them to see in AR without fear of being manipulated, being hacked by a Neophyte or Hacker. In addition, their bone structure is completely different from a standard human being completely replaced with Carbon Hexite resulting in black-grey internal bones. Hair, teeth, and nails grow as normal given that the Carbon Hexite is specifically tailored to target bone structure. This not only leads to natural increased strength but immense durability and zero bone loss in low/zero gravity. Lastly, Alphas brain and neural pathways are highly modified to varying degrees as this feature is highly unpredictable. This makes them quick and super coordinated.
Active Alphas are prone to a few issues but mostly they fall within “acceptable parameters”. Due to how their bodies and are overclocked and suffer from physical burnout limiting their lifespan to their 40’s. However, the stronger and quicker they are the earlier they burn out.
The most unique feature that is the primary reason for pairing an Alpha to a Neophyte is there tailored ability to bond to a Neophyte. Being bonded to and Alpha grants a Neophyte significantly more privilege than an unbonded one, being bonded is both the highest privilege and great responsibility for a Neophyte.
The choice to bond is a mutual affair; Alphas are rotated among eligible Neophytes. Their interaction are heavily monitored in rode to determine compatibility and if they “find the one”. The offer is made to the pair. The bond processes itself is entirely put upon the Alpha are basically a very specialized kind of brainwashed. Once bonded there is no going back. It’s often joked that the result is akin to marriage but the fact it for an Alpha the result is far deeper than that concept.
The end result is an Alpha who put the physical and emotional well being of there Neophyte above their own or anyone else’s. They live for nothing else but to protect and watch over there Neophyte and can be somewhat overprotective and even possessive at times. This is also something OSEC exploits to control bonded Neophytes, after all how can you think of hurting (or letting anyone hurt) someone who would do anything to make you happy and content? Who would so quickly and willfully throw themselves on the sword to keep you safe?
As such Alphas choosing to bond is never taken lightly, given their short life they rarely bond more than once in their lifetime short of their chosen Neophyte dying prematurely. In the event something should happen to their bonded Neophyte, be it circumstances beyond there control or being forced to put them down (a choice not taken lightly as an Alpha will exhaust every conveyable opting to save there Neophyte) the event is highly traumatic to an Alpha. Each Alpha reacts differently to the death of their Neophyte, some will steal a gun and go on a revenge rampage, other will spiral into a deep depression and in some case,s the psychological damage and grief is so bad it is kinder to simply put the Alpha down.