So I've kept myself pretty busy lately, working solely on that Banesuit. First of all, so you get an idea, here are some pictures, and let's talk about its look-and-feel :
The Banesuit as a whole
The Bane Helmet
The rear of the Bane collar
Under one of the numerous punishments (here, lockdown and semi-blindness, static is actually animated in-world)
As some of you already know, this latex is the Powers of Creation black latex skin (yes it's a skin, not an outfit), which is perfect for the overall glossy look described in the novel. What you don't know is that Kai (the creator and owner of PoC) has been kind enough to accept putting a vendor wherever I may choose to set the processing lab at. That way future Banes will buy from this vendor (if they don't have the suit already) without having to move and break the roleplay. The shoes are Graves black boots but they're not part of the outfit, I just like them very much (it's a gift). I'm still torn about the standard shoes, I would think of regular platform ones, but they're not very sexy. You can be a Bane and be sexy, right ? Hehe.
Now the helmet. It is a sculpty made by yours truly, one prim only so easy to resize in all directions independently according to the shape of the head. Its shape is a bit different from the novel, which is a featureless ovoid, but it didn't look good here. This shape looks creepier, with only a nose, no mouth, no eyes, no brows, no hair. Total loss of identity and yet still looking slightly human. I don't think I will texture it either, because making it latex-covered wouldn't look good in my opinion. This helmet is rigged with nasty scripts : a Custodian, a Spy, and very likely an Eudeamon. More on those below.
The collar is purely SL, as there is none in the novel, but I like the look of it and it reinforces the feeling of ownership and total control. It looks a bit like the KDC med posture collar, which I love, but is different enough to not be an issue. It restrains the movements of the neck (it's a posture collar after all) without keeping it still, displays the name of the Bane and has a red LED that lights up when monitoring is on. And there is a tiny print on the back, as seen in the picture above. Guess what the keywords are ?
Now that you know the look of it, let's see what happens when the suit is sealed around the soon-to-be Bane ? The Bane has to activate the Spy script (which is pretty much like the one in the shackles collar), then the Operator locks the helmet and... the Bane cannot remove the outfit anymore, nor wear clothes. She cannot read notecards. She cannot rez, or build anything. She cannot detach the helmet nor the collar. She cannot send or receive IMs or chat. That's all for the basic restrictions but the Custodian is still sleeping. That is, until the Operators leads the Bane to the release area and says "Custodian, initiate full protocols". Then the Custodian comes to life and starts monitoring the Bane for the duration of her sentence.
And what does it do ? It monitors surrounding chat and repeats it to the Bane, with more or less jamming according to the level of deafness punishment. It prevents the Bane from speaking unless a Vox is plugged. It prevents her from entering buildings, from staying around civilians, from running, flying, using devices, listening to conversations, tping too fast. And it becomes less tolerant when violations pile up. Just like in the novel. It also complies with orders coming from the Operator, locally or remotely (with a special Spy remote). There are a bunch of commands actually, and the Bane can be punished on a whim. It will really be an exercise in frustration and obedience. I have made it give feedback very much like in the novel also, to make it more immersive. I swear the Bane will learn to hate her Custodian...
... until it turns into an Eudeamon, if ever. It will depend on a number of factors such as the time spent isolated, the places explored, the violations accumulated. I can't talk about it yet because I'm still in the process of designing it (and no I won't take suggestions). It will of course depend on who can take control of the Bane in lieu of the regular Operator, if any. That area is still blurry but I have some ideas now, that could make it work nicely.
Operators, while having the responsibility of several Banes, are not meant to spend too much time on that task (they have a life, unlike Banes. lol), it's a part-time job so to speak. The Custodian is expected to enforce behavioral restriction but roleplay is necessary or it will get old very quickly. That's why I have chosen not to automate Maintenance, as I think it's a nice opportunity to have face-to-face RP between a Bane and her Operator, allowing the latter to issue concerns to the management when necessary. It breaks isolation for a little while, but also reinforces the feeling of loneliness when it's over and she's sent back in the wild again. But RP is to be limited until the Eudeamon comes to life, on purpose. The Operator will actually take the role of the higher circuits of the Custodian, sending custom messages from time to time just to keep the Banes on their toes, and gathering feelings until they become useful to someone else, special to the Bane...
And that transition is the key. As I said earlier, the isolation is complete except to one person, and it's up to the Bane to find her.
PS : Sorry I am not going to demonstrate the Banesuit anymore, nor give beta versions to people not involved into the project already. It takes way too much time and I need to refrain from showing it off if I wish to finish it one day. Thank you for your understanding.