Ruthenium Polymers

Dose to treat 1 m2


10,000 per Dose



Ruthenium polymers undergo a color change with the application of a small voltaic charge. The charge alters the polymer's chemical composition, allowing it to shift between a wide spectrum of hues. Since these polymers are also very durable and can be applied in layers of less than about .1 micron thick, they can be put on virtually any surface without any appreciable loss of flexibility or function. This makes ruthenium polymers useful for chameleon cloaking technology.

A chameleon effect can be achieved by combining ruthenium polymers and imaging scanners. The scanners view the surrounding environment and send the data through an imaging processor. The processed data is then fed to the ruthenium polymer surface so that the surface mimics the color and image of whatever is around it. At least four imaging scanners, strategically placed to receive full surround information, are required for the effect. More scanners give cleaner and more "correct" images. The imaging processors are quick enough to cloak a walking person, but they are unable to shift fast enough to cloak running people or moving vehicles.

To achieve a cloaking effect, the entire object must be covered with ruthenium. A metahuman can manage this by wearing a ruthenium-covered cloak or body suit. When activated, the target numbers needed to perceive such a cloaked object are increased by 4. For each extra scanner beyond four, add 1 to the final target number for detection.

The maximum modifier attainable is +12. Ruthenium systems are powered by gel packs with 10 hours' duration; new packs cost 50 nuyen. Ruthenium that covers a vehicle can be powered by the vehicle's power supply.

Radar, thermographic and ultrasonic systems are not affected by the ruthenium's cloaking effect. This means that dwarfs and trolls, ultrasound-using characters and vehicle sensors reduce the target number modifiers of the ruthenium by half, rounding down. Ruthenium is only effective on stationary or slow-moving targets (6 meters or less a Combat Turn). If a character or vehicle is moving faster, reduce the Perception modifier by 1 for each extra 2 meters/Turn. Exceptionally fast characters or vehicles will likely be more obvious (-2 Perception modifier), as the ruthenium rapidly switches colors in an attempt to keep up with the landscape.

Man & Machine, page 114

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