Get Your Ass to Mars
TITAN Quarantine Zone
The TITAN Quarantine Zone (TQZ) on Mars is very similar to Earth in terms of potential TITAN/exsurgent threats though there has not (yet) been an active amount of weather-affecting nanoswarms. There is also less in the way of active exsurgents or large exsurgent communities—most of the danger explorers will encounter comes in the form of TITAN machines or autonomous nanoswarms.
Despite—or perhaps, because of—the lessons learned with the TITANs, there has been a small explosion of experimentation with low-level (non-sapient) AIs on Mars, typically shelled in robotic forms. Much of this experimentation has been with creating non-standard forms of AIs, often with poor results. Some of these projects have been abandoned, others have escaped, leading to a small population of “wild artificials”—bots with weird and unusual animal-level intelligences.
Some of these have formed together in actual packs, like robotic dogs. These wild artificials are sometimes a threat to transhumans, whether from poor/glitched programming or mistaken intent. Gamemasters are encouraged to be creative when devising wild artificials.
A sample is provided below.
Collectors are small, fast, agile, and cat-sized bots programmed with animal behavioralisms for scavenging and hoarding. Enough of these have been found in the streets of Elysium that it seems likely that someone is manufacturing them and intentionally setting them free. Collectors scurry about on spider-like legs with grip pads across any available surface, collecting any small objects that strike their interest.
They seem to have a fondness for shiny electronics and other powered items, and more than one Martian has set down an item only to have a collector snatch it up and make off with it before they can be stopped. Collectors hoard the items they scavenge in rat-like warrens they presumably scrape out themselves. They have been known to attack transhumans when cornered or prevented from taking something they really like. Their forelimbs have painful pincers for grabbing and retractable blades with which they can cut.