I’m working on a setting, and have a state I want to achieve but need to come up with a compelling reason for why it is the way it is (even if no one but me ever knows the ‘why’.) I’m after a reasoned, logical answer that flows along the lines of greatest probability rather than a “it’s this way because I say so” type answer. I don't need a “hard science” answer because fundamentally the scenario has at least one foot in fantasy, but well thought out discourse is appreciated.
The set up:
In the future humans invent and built half-biological, half-mechanical bio-suits. They stand two or so times taller than an average human and can contain one fully inside themselves; they were controlled via direct-neural link. These suits offered many advantages:
-Low maintenance (limited self-healing ability) -Increased dexterity/reduced learning curve for new pilot. -Increased situational awareness (pilots often “becoming” the suit while operating it) -Massive strength increases compared to a normal person -Greatly increased personal protection in almost any environment. -Ability to operate independently for far longer than purely mechanical counterparts.
These suits functioned as a boon for their operators, increasing their physical capabilities many-fold… until the suits had the audacity to start talking to their operators from their own free will. (albeit given; this was a surprise for both parties)
The how and why and what happened are irrelevant in the scope of this question except for eventually these suits are recognized as a fully sentient, self-aware, cognizant species with IQs on par with humans.
When joined, control is often split between the bio-suits consciousness and the human’s consciousness, as desired by the pair. Joining is also considered more of a personal arrangement then a business one, so money exchanges are considered taboo.
What benefits could a human give that would encourage a symbiotic relationship between that human and a bio-suit?
There is obviously an advantage for the human, because they get all the above mentioned advantages as well as someone to talk to. The bio-suits does not anything out of the arrangement (besides extra weight and drain) on the surface, so it appears to be parasitic.
It’s hard to think of a justifiable advantage. Money certainly could be a motivator, but that puts it into a master/servant style relationship and over the longer term (I believe it is also untenable because at its base it’s still a parasitic relationship.) Things like “ability to get things from the corner market that has the small doors” would go away when construction adjusted after a generation to have bigger doors. Getting some sort of legal status or rights from the arrangement also is not a solution (see “just about any civil rights movement ever”).
So what advantages can the basically smaller and less physically capable humans offer in a symbiotic relationship with these bio-suits? Anything more intimate/interweaving then basically “do this for me and I'll pay you X”?
Edit space for questions:
- The functioning-in-detail of the suits has not been pinned down; so various flaws can be introduced; however things like "cannot breath without human" would take things too far; each side should be able to exist independent of the other, but find advantage for working together.
- Long term direct mind-to-mind exposure is the only real form of possible dependence that can form between a pair without intentional intervention; nothing stops a pair from separating beyond the fact that after a certain point they stop being a "pair" and start being a "one". Possible caveats to this are health considerations where one party helps support a failing system on another.