Supporting Protoplasm (SP)
The fusionist protoplasm is the mysterious substance that comprises Rass’ body. In addition to forming and reconstituting itself to generate objects across the battlefield, it is also one of the only known substances capable of allowing simultaneous processing of multiple electronic impulses. This latter function was primarily utilized by Rass’ subsystems to temporarily take control of portions of the protoplasm and independently execute movement, scanning, and energy transformation subroutines. In essence, the protoplasm operated as though it were a shared “body” for all four systems, with all the benefits and drawbacks it brought. Indeed, while Tem believed that a spare body could be encoded with core data from one of their subsystems, she later discovered that, like the other subsystems, she was bound to the fusionist protoplasm as though it were her own body data.
However, by converting the SP base into raw body data and reintegrating it into the fusionist protoplasm itself through a programming backdoor utilizing the “signature program” interface, Suien was able to dramatically increase the overall volume of the protoplasm. Through this minor feat of ingenuity, Suien Matsumoto was able to give the trapped subsystems something they had all, at some point, desired:
By ejecting a large clump of fusionist protoplasm sufficient to create a humanoid form, Rass can generate a fully autonomous body controlled by one (or more?) of his subsystems. Initially, however, only Tem is able to manifest herself fully within the Supporting Protoplasm. Perhaps with some way of adjusting the body data to suit the capabilities of the remaining subsystems, Argo and Ishamel may have a similar opportunity…?
Technically, the Supporting Protoplasm is a black, humanoid, featureless mass of fusionist protoplasm. However, it may take on the characteristics and appearance of whatever system is designated as the “core” at the time. The Supporting Protoplasm’s default core system is Tem, the bossy female tactical subsystem who traditionally did the thinking for Rass, Argo, and Ishamel. Prior to being fused with the others, Tem was the version 1 prototype for the Sharo-produced Tempo series netNavi, from which TempoMan.EXE was ultimately derived. As such, she possesses a similar look to the small, cobalt-blue shop navi.
Tem stands slightly shorter than Rass, roughly at a 5’5” human equivalent. However, the combination of Tem’s aristocratic poise and Rass’ submissive slouching makes her seem somewhat taller – an illusion exacerbated by the large, blue fins that adorn either side of Tem’s helmet. Tem sports a white bodysuit with a gold trim around her wrists, torso, and thighs. Thin, cobalt blue armor surrounds her chest, pelvic area, hands, and boots, and Tem’s navi insignia, essentially a blue orb with eyes, is emblazoned upon her chestpiece. Tem’s body type is slender, but with undisputedly womanly proportions (much to the surprise of Argo and Rass). Her skin is somewhat pale, but not unhealthily so. Piercing cerulean-blue eyes and a long blonde ponytail complete the ensemble, giving the tactical subsystem a physique that is, at once, athletic and relatively comely.
Tem has always been sharp, arrogant, and demanding – qualities that have, if possible, only increased since gaining her own body. On the other hand, Tem seems to have gained a slightly higher measure of respect for Rass, possibly as a result of her time spent as his sole subsystem in the Sharo Experimental Server. Thus, while she hasn’t given up on her goal to eventually become the core system, the newfound freedom seems to have at least temporarily satisfied this desire. Tem also seems to tolerate Suien’s occasionally questionable behavior more, although she still will not hesitate to voice her displeasure at his lapses of judgment. Tem’s defining characteristic, however, continues to be her strategic and manipulative nature. Indeed, thinking several moves ahead and processing a wide range of data to find the optimal solution has always been her forte.
While Tem’s personality hasn’t changed much, the transition from being an “inner voice” to a fully-autonomous entity capable of interacting with the outside world is not an easy adjustment. Used to making snarky remarks and snippy comments about the situation from within the fusionist protoplasm, Tem has discovered firsthand that old habits die hard. As a result, she is still prone to, among other things, giving vicious backhanded compliments and loudly criticizing the “incompetent” actions of virtually anyone she meets.
The largest unforeseen variable in Tem’s calculations is her new physique and its effect on male netNavis. While her first instinct is to simply use this feature another strategic element to be used in the pursuit of her master plans, Tem often finds herself flustered at the attention given to her by others.
Rass, and to a much greater extent, Argo, are also having a difficult time adjusting to Tem’s newfound “assets,” but for very different reasons. Rass has found himself feeling a bit of separation anxiety for his missing tactical subsystem, and has had to adjust to handling his own diagnostic functions which were previously handled by Tem. Argo, meanwhile grapples with the fact that his fellow subsystem, – who he had teased, taunted, belittled, and generally made an ass of himself in front of – is actually an attractive female. This, in turn leads to Argo taking almost an awkwardly overprotective stance toward Tem, acting in many ways like something between a jealous ex-boyfriend and an overzealous older brother.
TemSoul - Due to the large amount of time working at internally synchronizing with each other (and perhaps, some vestigial data from the soulcross research that ultimately generated the Fusionist Protoplasm) Rass and the subsystem inhabiting the Supporting Protoplasm can “soul unison.” Characteristic of the early-version soul unisons, the Support Unit is placed into a catatonic state and reintegrates itself into the Fusionist Protoplasm. Its energies are then transferred to Rass, who undergoes a physical transformation.
While in TemSoul, the pink coloring of Rass’ protoplasm retreats into the core, leaving his body jet-black. Over the fusionist protoplasm, however, Rass gains cobalt blue boots and armor that covers his hip, torso, and hands. His normally-pink helmet becomes a matching blue color, with a pair of fins jutting outward and upward from the sides. Despite being called a “soul unison,” however, Rass does not undergo any sort of synergistic transformation or boost in power, given that the Supporting Protoplasm is inextricably bound to Rass’ own body in the first place.
Tem extends her arms, revealing mid-range buster units on the palms of her hands. Though she does not use them often due to the limited generator output of the SP module, she is capable of firing off bursts of blue-and-white energy.