Before the collapse, you could add centuries to your life if you were willing to pay, and almost everyone with means was. The longevity market surged, eclipsing the 21st century plastic surgery market ten fold, with a veritable army of specialists ready to keep the rich and powerful very alive.When the Exodus took place, most doctors left with the flotillas, but a scant few stayed behind for their own reasons or because of professional ones. A number of them even attempted to make it off-world, only to find out that their medical ships malfunctioned or weren’t able to make it out of orbit. Many of these survivors stepped into the role of surgeons with the vacuum created in the medical field during the Big Push.With their specialization no longer viable but the knowledge and ability still at hand, these doctors used other means to extend their lives and often the lives of their loved ones. A patient dead on the operating table? Why let such pristine kidneys go to waste? There were many others who could use a set of healthy organs, especially due to the hardships of dealing with the building pollution.
This sort of organ donation was common practice during the Big Push, and this symbiotic relationship prevailed for years with most doctors. However, macabre rumors began spreading about physicians whose patients always seemed to die mysteriously, often coinciding with the doctors absence for a period of time. Ghoulish tales prevailed, but few cases had proof of misconduct, and the shortage of medical practitioners created plausible deniability. With the efforts of the Big Push succumbing to the ever growing environmental disasters, and the Dark times staring people in the face, the give and take most Stitchmen enjoyed was no longer an option. They were left to fend for themselves; brokers of immortality in a world where reaching the age of thirty was seen as an accomplishment. Some percevered, whispering promises to warlords and refugee leaders, latching onto power like remoras to a shark. Others resorted to out-and-out cannibalism, making sure to ‘utilize’ every shred of the human body they came across, amassing followers and mercenaries with promises of wealth and old age, not to mention a steady diet of protein. Some simply vanished into history like so many others.
The oaths and morality of their past lives erased by unreliable memories and the psychosis of a brain pushed to it’s biological limit, the Stitchmen are the ghoulish cannibals that are spoken about in hushed tones. They are the things that go bump in the night that most children are fearful of… Symbiosis no longer a commonly available option for few communities left to ‘serve’, so many Stitchmen have been forced to become the macabre butcher they were viewed as. For some, the stories had been true, so that made the transition that much more seamless.The uncertainty of death their biggest fear, a sociopathic streak only strengthened by their chemically prolonged brains, now showing signs of failure.
Most Stitchmen have been alive for well over 200 years, and while they are able to replace the majority of their organs, they are also so paranoid that leaving their small encampments or lairs oftentimes proves too much for their fragile and paranoid psyches.
However, the body parts just don’t deliver themselves. Someone needs to “harvest” them.
To provide them with the resources that they need to stay alive for centuries, Stitchmen hire Hunters- men and women who have few other opportunities, but who are experts at tracking and hunting.
They employ a variety of weapons and equipment, from long rifles, to narco guns, as well as electronic tracking equipment, and long-range radios.
These Hunters are remorseless; knowing full well that a horrible fate awaits anybody that they deliver to their employers.