Chapter 91:

Excerpt from Needaimus Guide – Application

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Needaimus function by bonding to a partner. That partner is referred to as a “m.o.r.t.a.l.”, an acronym made up of words in the Zenotote classical language. The research by the Zenototes is the primary source for many of the Needaimus discoveries that this guide covers.

Needaimus come in a variety of shapes and colors. At their core, they are mechanical creatures made to imitate lifeforms. They seem to run off a sophisticated AI that surpasses anything developed in modern Resh. While they can speak in any language, they do not talk much outside the partners they bond with. Some exceptions do exist, however.

To bond with a Needaimus, a mortal must choose a limb to bond to. Typically, this is an arm, but legs and even tails—where applicable—are suitable options. Once connected, a mortal will be able to use the ability of a Needaimus. These abilities cannot be used by the Needaimus alone, nor can they be used by a creature with no language capacity. Why this is the case is still being investigated.

An important detail to note for anyone who is not a Zenotote is that the limb must be prepared for bonding before a connection is made. In the past, people would sacrifice a limb to use a Needaimus. In the worst case, the limb is simply left to hang when the Needaimus is not in use. Bonding will reenable full use.

Modern surgery has allowed those susceptible to damage to safely bond with a Needaimus. The surgery modifies the interior bone and muscle structure. Without that, the Needaimus will be forced to damage the limb to bond. Netzians and Bentulousians are most at risk of getting incredible damage.

Once bonded, the Needaimus will present the mortal with a compatibility percentage. This percentage represents the amount of access a mortal has to the ability. The stated compatibility can be affected by a myriad of factors, but some of the important ones research has determined are species, previous bonding to a Needaimus, previous type bonded with, and specific training done beforehand. At 100%, a mortal will have full access to abilities. The percentage increase will stop at this point.

Through the whole capability process, mortals can experience tiredness and exhaustion while using their abilities. Ordinarily, a Needaimus will temporarily limit pain and fatigue from the mortal's actions.

However, an ability being the cause of exhaustion is referred to as overexertion. This phenomenon happens when a mortal's application of ability exceeds their current compatibility percentage. Under 100% entering the state of overexertion is often seen as a quick way to boost compatibility. This training method is not recommended as it is believed the compatibility percentage is in place to stop bodily or psychological harm from using an ability. That being said, entering an overexertion state has not been shown to cause permanent risk if done in rare instances.

After reaching 100%, the state of overexertion has still been observed. Though it is often rare, it had been seen in enough cases for some to theorize that the 100% cap is not the limit. Some mortals have tried to communicate with their Needaimus partners on the subject, but the creatures as a whole remain quiet on the details.

Two methods have arisen from the fact of overexertion. The makers of this guide do not recommend a mortal participate in either. However, in the interest of presenting all available knowledge in a comprehensive guide, the decision was made to mention both.

The first method is known as limit expansion. This method is often regarded as the most sensible, especially by its practitioners. However, risks do remain. The method acts in a manner similar to training for sports. The mortal deliberately enters a state of overexertion and will train their body to adjust to the feeling before increasing the intensity.

It can be compared to steadily increasing weights when lifting. Please note that the method described is not the complete account of how to do limit expansion but rather a metaphor to explain how it causes growth. Entering a state of overexertion every day without the proper techniques will only introduce the risk of bodily or psychological harm briefly mentioned above.

The second method is seen as the most abhorrent by many critics and even some practitioners. This method is referred to as overclocking. While the limit expansion seeks to improve the mortal's capabilities, overclocking forces the compatibility percentage to rise above 100%. As a part of the process, the Needaimus becomes fixed to the mortal's limb and will begin to ‘grow’ into the rest of the body as the compatibility percentage increases.

The method uses the state of overexertion to define new limits. For example, a mortal may use their ability to a level that would be considered 112%. At that time, the Needaimus will set 112% as the new limit and make adjustments. When the adjustments are completed, the metal from the Needaimus will appear to grow across the body like a plant. The mortal will still feel overexerted while the calculation process is occurring, but once it is complete, they will reach the desired 112% without issue.

As mentioned before, neither method of exceeding 100% compatibility is recommended by the makers of this guide. With that being said, the makers especially do not recommend the overclocking technique due to the permanent damage to both mortal and Needaimus. The method can be started by accident in extreme cases. If a mortal should ever notice their Needaimus beginning to grow into them, it is recommended to break the connection and not bond for at least one week. If time to reflect presents itself, it is recommended that the mortal think about how the overclocking started and take steps to prevent it from occurring again.