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Old 09-07-2017, 04:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Flesh Pocket (UT211) Hygiene

Alright, this is going to be a bit of a weird one (in case the title didn't clue you in). So, a flesh pocket is a useful way to smuggle objects, keep your cash where it's pretty much impossible to pickpocket, and so forth. It's also, by its very nature, a dark, warm area that may be prone to getting damp - in other words, a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Now, in ultratech settings, this is likely to be an inserted pouch (rather than a literal pocket of flesh), meaning it's probably made of materials with antimicrobial properties.

The issue I'm having is that I've imported this concept into a ~TL4 setting, where a race of minor shapeshifters* finds growing such to be useful. Such pockets also likely don't seal as well as UT examples, making them more prone to getting damp. A wealthy - or at least settled - individual may have sufficient access to bathing facilities to keep the flesh pocket clean and dry, but an adventurer on the road is unlikely to. This is likely to take the form of a stench on anything they opt to store in the flesh pocket, as well as increased potential for infections and otherwise getting sick. Complicating things further is the fact that petroleum doesn't exist (or at least isn't available) in the setting in question, meaning sword oils and the like are made from biological** sources, which are a potential food source for such flesh-pocket-bacteria, and one of the characters I'm designing keeps an unsheathed sword hidden in a dedicated flesh pocket in his arm (think Baraka, from MKII).

One thing that could work, although this may be reaching, is to keep some copper and/or silver coins in the flesh pocket, to take advantage of the antimicrobial properties of those metals. If this would work, it would probably be done as a semi-superstitious "good luck charm." In the case of the sword, making it out of bronze rather than steel might work, but I'd rather have other options. Perhaps some sort of stable antimicrobial/poison could be diluted into the sword oil?

How likely is the copper/silver coin trick (and/or the bronze sword) to work? What are some other options?

*They shapeshift rather slowly compared to what one would expect, essentially slowly reprogramming their bodies.

**I consider petroleum to be sufficiently removed from the organisms it was produced from to not count as "biological."
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