Reapers
Semi-secret society arising as a variation of the Death Parlor phenomenon. Reapers are found across a wide variety of polities and locals in the Civilized Galaxy although their level of acceptance is usually, although not always, low.

Reapers believe that the glory of the experience of death and resurrection made possible by modern backup technology should be experienced by as many as possible. They travel across the Nexus, particularly to those areas with minimal angelnetting, and 'give the gift of rest' to randomly chosen individuals. Reapers are each equipped with emergency backup technology which they use to retrieve a current mind-state recording of each one of their victims immediately after death. Recordings are delivered anonymously to the nearest resurrection facility where the victim (or Sleeper as the Reapers call them) may be reconstructed and revived.

Reapers are very concerned with the 'artistry' of the experience they believe they are giving their victims, often seeking out individuals who have just experienced a particularly pleasurable or memorable event. They believe that the culmination of such an experience with an artful death adds spice or flavor to lives made bland from a lack of surprise.

Additionally, some Reapers are taking to using non-intrusive DNI sensorium and/or cognitive hookups to experience the death in conjunction with their art-partner, and to share that blessed experience with as many as will download it. This makes them a DNI Death Cult, or at least a variant of such. A few have accepted left-handed assistance from certain sequestered NoCoZo corporations, gaining both hardware and a paying audience for their efforts. Others focus on the Sophic League, bringing a chance to settle karma, balance atma, to free the ba, to deaden the khabait, etc, according the victim's personal philosophies.

Yet others are primary developers and distributors of Sapient Food and similar products.

In many polities, the Reapers are thoroughly outlawed and if captured are subject to punitive measures ranging from fines to memory erasure and personality rebuild. However, due to the great care that each Reaper takes to ensure the resurrection of all of their victims, an almost equal number of polities regard them as little more then an annoyance, subject to at most a stern warning. Still others go so far as to treat them as a tourist attraction (particularly in the NoCoZo) or even as a valuable addition to society. In extreme cases, some regions actually regard being taken by a Reaper as an almost necessary component to truly understanding life. 'One is not truly alive until one has died,' the saying goes.

In these regions, some Reapers have been raised to virtually celebrity status, with fan clubs and 'tracking services' which provide very general information as to the location of the Reaper in question, down to about the solar system, or occasionally planet or habitat, level of detail.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner, with John B and Mike Parisi

Initially published on 27 January 2004.