When Bioware first hit the streets around 2013 it hardly caused a ripple. Slightly faster healing or stronger muscles seemed rather dull compared to the glitz of chromed cyberware or video skin-grafts.
But we now know that in the corporate labs an entirely new science was being born. Manipulation of molecular-scale objects, the nano-technology, matured rapidly and soon changed the face of society.
Most Bioware enhancements involve the use of nanotechnology, tiny machines the size of microbes, which can perform surgical tasks on the cellular level.
By 2077 the language of nanotech has become commonplace and Bioware abounds alongside designer skin grafts and whirring cyberlimbs. Nanotechnology is a great tech today, competing with Cyberware as the potential elixir of youth, the ultimate chic. Laws of supply and demand keep prices high and restrict general use to the rich and powerful, so down on Earth cyberware is way more common, but in an environment as unforgiving as space you would trust Bioware more than cyberware because the slightest malfunction of your chrome can be lethal.
Nanotechnology relies on two main components: assemblers and disassemblers. Assemblers are molecular-sized “machines” which can perform complex acts of construction, taking individual molecules and combining them to form a particular material. Disassemblers can break a given material back into its component molecules.
Nanoids, the popular term for molecular-sized machines, can assemble or disassemble almost anything given time and the right raw materials. Technology can rebuild you, and anything else, for the right price.
In Night City, as in any major city on Earth, nanoid treatments can be purchased from local clinics, which you most probably won't because this shit is pricy. These nanoids are carefully constructed machines which can manipulate living biological components. The thing goes more or less like this: an injection of nanoids and suitable materials, a few weeks of patience and voilà: natural armor or enhanced antibodies at the flick of a few thousand eddies.
In truth, much more advanced Bioware exists in the corporate labs and exclusive European clinics. The most radical enhancements require connection to life support equipment while vital organs are altered or rearranged. After all, the nanoids can rearrange anything, but, how long can you live while your heart is rebuilt?
And the most interesting thing is Bioware enhancements can be combined to give startling effects. What kind of Bioware enhancements are the most common?
Common Bioware Enhancements
Muscle enhancement interweaves synthetic muscle through the natural muscle fiber, anchoring and strengthening them. This enhancement is virtually undetectable and results in an increase in your strength.
Skin weaver is a generic form of Bioware involving nanoids that weave the top three layers of skin with synthetic fibers, so other modifications are included to provide a specific result.
Thermal Weave is a very interesting one, especially if you work on the space: rather than providing physical protection, this version deflects heat. When you apply it to you is quite obvious as the skin takes a silvery sheen. This allows you to function efficiently in very high temperatures, so it’s great for when your worksuit temperature regulator fails.
Chem weave takes the top three layers of skin and replaces them with fibers which can resist chemicals, including acids and biological agents. The skin tends to take on a somewhat pallid look, so it’s easy to spot, it’s very useful but requires 8 weeks of treatment.
Rad Weave is a must in space, similar to the Thermal Weave bur designed to provide protection from higher-energy radiation sources. Rad Weave is usually combined with cybernetic replacement of both eyes as these are not protected by the nanoid treatment. Rad Weave is also quite obvious, as the skin takes on a silver sheen similar to the Thermal Weave but you don’t totally look chrome, so do get carried away.
But you know the ones you’re going to love the most: the Neural Enhancements, because the human brain is not exempt from the trespass of molecular machines, so you have great options for Enhanced senses or Reflex boost, although, to be honest, Bioware is way more expensive than cyberware so I think investing your eddies in a Kerenzikov or a Sandevistan boost is a wiser idea than trying to get the same effect with Bioware.
But as the world of 2077 is a dangerous place, the option you're going to value the most, no matter if you're on the ground or on space, is the Nanosurgeons. These are microscopic machines adapted to surgical repair. Some seal off damaged blood vessels, while others repair damaged tissue, cartilage, and bone with polymer microstiches. This enhancement doubles normal healing time but, remember, even with nanotech in your bloodstream, staying away from potential bullets in your head is still a wise idea, because headshots are quite final.