One day in the depths of Skavenblight, a Warlock Engineer managed to steal enough information from his rivals so that when combined with his own ideas yielded some novel concepts. These were in turn usurped by his senior most apprentice when he arranged for him to fall into a vat of acid on one of Skyre's factory complexes. This upstart saw the potential for this and added to it work done by one of his rivals who'd been experimenting with new number calculating engines and an amusing new technology which one of his apprentices had been working on for keeping track of the slave pits and the movements of rivals. Over a period of several years three hundred sixty nine Skavenslaves, forty eight clanrats, Six suppliers who tried to sell him inferior components and eight lackluster pupils were expended in the effort dying on the operating table, but this was a sacrifice that any Warlock Engineer would routinely make. In this case, however the results were beyond his wildest dreams.
What he worked on in that time was not a new weapon, but a computational machine which was linked to an electric camera and to skaven's brains through a series of fine electrodes and to a larger computational engine via radio. It received transmissions, interpreted them and executed sequences which fed into the brain. Some of them were triggers for simple conditioned actions (walk, run, turn, fight, eat, pick up, put down) as well stimulating the brain pleasure and pain. At first the Warlock Engineer tried working exclusively with pain, but the result was eventual breakdown. Verbal commands were fed into the modified skaven via an ear speaker. A Camera Feed was fed back where it would be displayed on Cathode Ray Tube monitors. Dozens of which would soon fill the Engineer's personal sanctum.
These devices were expensive and the success rate in instillation was never better than 25%. Never the less this machinery represented a critical development for the Skaven. These Cybernetically modified Rats (or Cybrats) had one critical advantage, through lobotomy and aggressive conditioning in a training phase Cybrats were made utterly docile and obedient. The Warlock Engineer soon found that he could easily make a Cybrat pick up a rock, wonder across the room, put it down, pick it up again, go back, set it down again and continue doing that task over and over again until it starved to death. When he finally got Cybrats that had the skills to modify skaven into Cybrats, the Engineer sequestered himself away and reigned over his section of Clan Skcryer with Cybrats as his enforcers, slave drivers, specialized and guards which could not be bribed, threatened or scared off.
Of course, while having fifty or so loyal Cybrats lording over a thousand more apprentices, clanrats and slaves was impressive, it did catch the attention of higher ranked Skaven such as Ikit Claw who could easily command thousands of warriors. As such he was soon making Cybrat equipment for sale to others, which was in turn duplicated by others. Those that acquired said equipment built for themselves sanctums equipped with numerous screens in which they managed their domains through their electronically controlled puppets and only ventured out under heavy guard and with miniaturized control units. Those beneath them now faced a new tyranny even by the ruthless standards of the sakven as their masters now in effect had many bodies as well as the looming peril of being selected one day for Cybrat modification. Secretly they masses of Skavenblight aspired to have Cybrats of their own, but for the lower classes of Skavenblight promotion became an even rarer prospect.
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