Cybernetic Ear Implant (Signal Pickup)
A Cybernetic Ear Implant was an enhanced version of the standard Bionic Ear Replacement which improved the agent's audio detection capabilities. The augmented hearing of the signal pickup model allowed for an agent to listen in on wireless communications occurring within 100 meters of their location. Tiny, unobtrusive dials in the ears allowed the agent to adjust their reception for different frequencies, and the agent could have one or both ears replaced by this implant.
Only members of the intelligence agencies of the Great Houses had access to these implants, and attempting to acquire them on the black market was extremely difficult. Even if the surgery necessary to implant the device was successful there was a chance the agent's body would reject the implant, requiring a second more dangerous surgical procedure, along with a chance of permanent disability or madness. Due to the metabolic demands of the implant the agent also suffered from chronic headaches which required constant medication every six hours (and resulted in many becoming addicted to the painkillers). Treatment for wounds sustained to the implanted area was also more difficult to heal and recovery time was longer.
Among the Manei Domini this upgrade was available to all agents, however whereas the Inner Sphere's ears were too crude for this implementation those of the Manei Domini could combine ears with different audio capability, i.e. one enhanced and one radio. The ears could be cosmetically enhanced to appear normal or changed to look intimidating.
In RPG play Signal Pickup ears have the equipment rating D/C/C, cost 400,000 and can listen in on communications within 100 meters. Using a known frequency requires no check, while finding one used by an opponent may require a Simple Action and an opposed roll by the communicator. Manei Domini ears altered to look normal require a +8 Perception check to notice the difference; those altered to look intimidating added a +2 to Intimidation and Interrogation rolls as long as they were visible to the subject. In CBT play Manei Domini infantry with Signal Pickup ears operate as though they have an Active Probe with a range of 2 hexes, so long as the majority of the platoon are so equipped.
- A Guide to Covert Ops, p. 112-113
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 126, 131