The Cell Hunters
If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.
Source: Jastrow, M. “Descent of the Goddess Ishtar into the Lower World” (The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria, 1915).
Ishtar’s Gate is a defense mechanism built into all cyborgs. Upon reaching zero hit points, the cyborg falls and releases nanocytes that are programmed to seek out and infest dead organic matter—generally speaking, corpses on a field of battle. For most humanoid corpses of 200-300 lbs. it takes one round to animate. Thus, on the cyborg player’s turn after the turn in which they fell, the first corpse rises, with another corpse rising each subsequent round up to a total of 5 “zombies”. The risen corpses are imbued with extremely simple cognitive ability, limited to facing and attacking direct threats to the cyborg as it goes into repair mode. Once the cyborg regains consciousness the nanocytes begin to deactivate, shutting down suddenly and entirely on the cyborg’s next turn. The supply of nanocytes is finite, and once Ishtar’s Gate is used a new cartridge must be obtained and installed in the cyborg’s body before it can use them again.
If the cyborg’s body is completely destroyed, the nanocytes cease functioning immediately.