|This page contains information copied or paraphrased from the OCD FLEET site.|
The modern POST is a triumph of Board science, and forms the quintessential badge of the Boardie. Acting as ID and weirdness toolkit for thousands of operatives, it is a passport to the glorious insanity of the Board...and the best method of defending said glory if pressed.
The device currently known as a POST, the ninth model to hold that name, is essentially a microscale communications relay and low-level reality warping device with limited computer support, backed up with a nanofactory to perform self-modification, repair, and even emergency medical work – albeit somewhat slowly. The term "POST"'s origins are obscure and arcane (the current name is a Backronym instituted by the scientists who launched the current model and reality control network), and older POSTs are still around from the pre-Science days, usually little more than advanced walkie-talkies or symbols of office. Older boardies can and do get quite nostalgic and/or attached to such symbols of the past, although just as many happily chuck 'em and get in line for the newer models.
A POST's primary use is to bolster a Boardie's natural abilities by calling in and co-ordinating support from the Funky Horror's mighty Reality Control Array, giving the user far more reach, scope, and precision than he/she would have normally. Internal memory also allows simple "macros", to enable every Board agent to have a small range of skills "just in case". Classic examples include kinetic control/redirection, some form of light or heat effect, and a very complex program that alters the brain-state of a human slightly to make it susceptible to suggestion for the next few seconds (known, unkindly, as the "Mind Trick"). Also included is a motion scanner, occult activity monitor (wich monitors the rationality of the subatomic processes of given atoms. If they start to act erractically, something's up...or down, as the case may be), and autoresponse alert system, usually linked to a vibrating section of the casing and/or a buzzer. So common it's considered standard by many Boardies is a biomonitor and anti-trauma kit, although the disconcerting nature of having one's POST stick large needles into you puts just as many Boardies off the whole idea. These functions also have a tendency to link to the user's reflex arcs, which can be handy when events move too fast for commands beyond "oh crap, I really really need something to happen right now!", but can prove something of a double-edged sword should anyone say "BOO!" and accidentally get bombarded with razor-sharp lemons.
When actually in use in the field, a POST tends to be built into some form of small personal device. Classically this is a mobile phone (usually an older model, as the more modern ones don't have a big enough casing), but walkmen and personal organisers are equally popular, as are novelty cigarette lighters, laptops or other computer peripherals, and so on. Interfaces are a matter for a Boardie to decide him/herself, although workshops are available to provide assistance on request. Visual screens are preferred for ease of operation and maintenance, but auditory-only systems are just as common (a POST will speak in a quiet "bitching betty" voice, in a languge of the user's choice). Neural uplinks are not unknown, and handily most devices a POST resembles are held close to major nerve clusters, but are a downright pain to maintain and repair - especially the really advanced contactless ones.
The fact that Boardies expecting trouble are issued "Offensive Attachments" leads many to think that this means a POST cannot be used for combat without specific authorisation. This is wrong, as any master of improvisation will tell you, but those little tubes make breaking things/people much easier if you bring one...
The attachment, which fits into the dispensary port when attached, is in fact a small mass driver and supply of reaction mass to a POST's nanofactory, enabling the POST to start launching projectiles. Also included are priority uplinks to the orbital defence grid, enabling support requests to be sent in and answered. Its only requirements, aside from being fitted into place, are some form of existing kinetic control program on the POST itself to operate the mass driver. This is less of a catch than it seems, as most Boardies see the need to move something around pretty often (people also tend to react "better" to a mysterious entity who can throw raw force around on command, as opposed to one that can't), so 99% of the time a Boardie can just snap the tube on and fire. A "pacifist" POST without such functions would earn the Boardie in question very odd looks, but they're not unknown.