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Paul Denton, one of the first "nano-augs"

"Excuse that I have forgotten your brother Paul Denton and the infinite power of nano-augmentation."
Gunther Hermann to JC Denton, Deus Ex

Nano-augmentation is the most advanced form of human augmentation. It uses nanites to give people the ability to do things that they couldn't normally do, for example, seeing in the dark, turning invisible, having immense strength, immunity from toxins and physical trauma, and more. The Omar are an example of extreme nano-augmentation - they have been so heavily nano-augmented that they no longer resemble humans at all, rather cyborgs with no skin and respirators for faces; the exact opposite of what the nanotechnology was created for. Nano-augmentation is the advanced equivalent of physiopharmaceutical augmentation and mechanical augmentation.

Unlike its predecessor, nano-augmentation is both physically and mentally painless. It is very discreet, leaving almost no marks on the body, and is more efficient. However, it is almost impossible to find a person compatible with nanotechnological augmentations - the result of any unsuccessful operations was death. Nano-augmentation could not be realistically used unless the augmented were to be cloned and have their genetic code specifically written to accept them, or the genetic code could be rewritten in a living organism, which was not possible until the 2070s. One example of this is Leo Jankowski.


The beginnings[]

In the early 2020s, while mechanical augmentations were just becoming widespread, the work on nanotechnology began. Majestic 12 scientists assigned to the project (led by Bob Page) had a number of difficulties. A self-replicating nanite that can interact with biological material had to be developed, and the nanites must be able to interpret commands directly from the mind and send information back to the mind in a form that can be interpreted.

In 2023, Paul Denton, age 5, is selected as a test subject for the nano-augmentation project and he is subsequently cloned. In 2028, Paul Denton's mother, who is unable to have any more children but wants another, is approached by MJ12 operatives posing as fertility experts. She is told that she will be paid handsomely in exchange for participating in experimental surgery that will allow her to become pregnant. Mrs. "Denton", had been poor her entire life, now she could have another child and have enough money to raise her family in comfort. The "fertility experts" assure her that the surgery is minor and the risk is minimal.

After the parents of Paul Denton agree, the mother is implanted with a cloned embryo of Paul. Their lives have already been carefully monitored by MJ12 for many years. On March 17, 2029, JC Denton, a clone of Paul Denton and the protagonist of Deus Ex is born. In 2034, the experiments began on the second generation of 5-year-old clones, named Alex and Billie.

In 2035, after taking all of the Illuminati's political, financial, military and religious arms and having inherited the title of the de facto ruler of Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America, Majestic 12 breaks their promise and kills Paul and JC Denton's parents in secret. They frame it as a fatal car accident, then send JC to a school in Switzerland and in 2040, Paul Denton, at the age of 22 years, joins UNATCO. In 2047, JC Denton graduates from Swiss school. In 2050, Paul Denton is offered nano-augmentation by UNATCO (secretly by Majestic 12) and accepted, becoming the first successfully nano-augmented human. In 2052, JC Denton is also successfully nano-augmented and becomes an active agent of UNATCO.

In 2052, nanite canisters are only a prototype and nanite injections are rejected by the vast majority of the population, so only a very few people can use them without dying due to genetic incompatibility. From the reports of the Majestic 12 on the biological and physiological analysis of Paul Denton, it seems that his compatibility with nanites and nanotechnological implants is due to an absence of all H type epsilon immunoglobin proteins.

Development of nano-augmentation span over many years. It is inevitably likely that experiments were conducted, using unwilling civilians as test subjects, evidenced by the research going on at black sites, such as Rifleman Bank Station, in 2027 - and Ford Schicks involuntary research on homeless people, concerning H type epsilon proteins, in 2052.

As if government thugs weren't bad enough, now we have to worry about government monsters too.

I’m talking about nanotech, friends. It’s more than just the annoying business buzzword of the month, it’s real, and it’s really scary.

Egghead types and government stooges will tell you that nanotech is the greatest thing since our protozoan ancestors decided sex was more fun than fission. Me, I think it’s the most frightening technology since the H-bomb. No, it’s the most frightening technology ever!

Oh, sure it has its uses. Now, instead of keeping a whole socket set, I have a tool that can fit itself to the head of any bolt or screw. Nifty.

What scares me, though, is the thought of what nanotech can do to a human being. Oh, it’s coming … the dawn of the “nanoaugmented” government thug. If you’re like me, you get a little queasy every time you have to pass by one of those “mechs.” They have all that chrome where they should have skin, and if you get close enough you can hear the little motors inside humming away. They always smell faintly of motor oil. Worst of all, of course, is that you know that they could pick you up in one hand and tear your legs off with the other, just as easy as you unwrap a candy bar, if only they wanted to.

Nasty as it is, all that chrome and plastic at least means that you can spot a mech coming. When the nano-agent arrives he’ll be able to peel the most powerful mech like a banana and—here’s the scary part—he’ll look just like you or me.

Imagine some perfectly normal-looking guy, only he’s got a 15-foot vertical jump, and he can lift almost a ton, and he’s got skin that bullets bounce off of (or if they don’t, the little nano-bugs in his system can repair any damage almost as soon as it occurs). Worst of all, his body and soul are literally bought and paid for by your Friends in Government.

This is, of course, the tyrant’s dream and the free man’s worst nightmare. The coming of the nano-agent is going to mean nothing short of the end of any hope of civil disobedience in this country. Hell, it’ll probably mean the end of this country as well, because—as good old Dr. Frankenstein discovered—when you create something that powerful, it’s eventually going to want to get you out of the way and take whatever you have for itself.

— "The Straight Skinny," Joe Greene (Midnight Sun)


Nano-augmentation works by injecting nanites into a person‘s body and allowing the nanites to replicate themselves. This replication occurs in two stages. The first stage is the viral-replication stage. This involves the use of a host cell (a normal human cell) to make multiple copies of a protein shell normally belonging to a virus (known as a capsid). The second stage involves the duplication of the nanomachines themselves. These nano-components (apparently receiver-transmitters and CPUs), once replicated, are inserted into the protective viral capsid. Once this is complete, the receiver-transmitters send a microwave signal holding the information to create a new strand of RNA. Presumably, it is the CPUs which process this information and make sense of it.

As soon as this RNA has been assembled, it can be used to create a corresponding strand of DNA. This DNA is independent of the DNA contained within the subjects own chromosomes. Instead, it exists as a separate loop called a plasmid. These plasmids most likely contain the information needed to create new proteins which, when introduced to the body, result in it being significantly enhanced. In this way nano-augmentation, although involving nanotech components, is fundamentally a biological process. The enhancements to the human body are not caused directly by the nanites. Instead, the nanites allow the body to create organic proteins which give it abilities not granted by natural selection.

Upgrades to previously "installed" augmentations can be applied through the use of additional ROM modules. These ROM modules (apparently shaped like flying saucers), diffuse through the blood once they've been ingested. They then attach to a long spine of nanite CPUs and essentially act as software upgrades.


Following the destruction of Area 51, JC Denton is unable to control the power of Helios due to defects in the unrefined nanite architecture, resulting in an imperfect merge. Before he loses control, the AI reveals its ideological future of equality for all to his brother Paul and Tracer Tong. After that, JC's allies hurried him to a remote base in Antarctica to protect him while he recovered and he fell into a prolonged coma.

Having the key to the future of the human species, Paul and Tracer Tong sought a way to wake him from his coma and found that the only way he would be restored was through the introduction of a new biological architecture. In order to obtain this, ApostleCorp was founded by Paul Denton and Tracer Tong. Its purpose was to develop an improved nanotechnology architecture so that JC could successfully merge with the Helios AI and awaken. They also tried to develop a universal nanite strain acceptable to all humans and planned in the future to distribute these nanites worldwide and allow a perfect equality between human beings. This would lead to JC Denton's vision, a perfect democracy where everyone of equal ability connected (not assimilated) to the Helios AI.

At some point, an improved strain of nanites was tested on Paul, but his body violently rejected the infusion. In order to avoid dying, he has to be cryogenically frozen. After this failure, they began cloning JC Denton and subjecting the clones to biomodification. After long experimentation, ApostleCorp managed to create a new type of nanite, a biological variety, that has the same capacity as the previous, more polyvalent (no longer requiring a augmentation upgrade canister for improved a nano-augmentation) and also involves changing the body at a biomolecular level. This nanite is compatible with the entire population. Also, a team of starving Russian scientists around the country severely nano-augment themselves to adapt to the horrible plague and famine of the Collapse. These scientists unite under one collective consciousness and call themselves the Omar.

Post Collapse[]

After their discovery, ApostleCorp made a partnership with Piezochem to commercialize nano-augmentations, and it distributed the research on nano-augmentations and on biological nanites. Following this partnership, Piezochem began to create a new canister for the biological nanites allowing them to market these new nano-augmentations.

In addition to containing it can inject any nano-augmentation distributed by Piezochem, alone (without the help of a med-bot), it also replaces augmentation upgrade canister and increases any nano-augmentations by the same means. But due to the popularization of nano-augmentations, some are now illegal (often in relation to security systems as the Neural Interface) and they are not distributed by Piezochem. The Omar reintroduce them into the world by creating their own canister and modifying the biological nanites with a chemical pollutant. Although illegal, they are relatively widespread, at least compared to normal canisters. But using a different pattern from that of Piezochem, it's not possible to use one to improve another.

Fortunately, these rogue and independently produced biomods are still rare. They mimic Piezochem architectures for genetic compatibility; however, their infusion signatures are completely foreign, making it impossible to mix the technologies. The long-term effects of using such unethical and strange tools are still unknown.

— "Analysis of Illegal Biomods," Deus Ex: Invisible War

In 2072, nano-augmentations (more commonly referred to as bio-augmentations) have become common, just as mechanical augmentations had been in 2027. If they have enough money, any individual is capable of augmenting themselves. With no practical uses, mechanical augmentation has been made completely obsolete due to its inferiority to nano-augmentation.

List of nano-augmentations[]

Deus Ex[]

Main article: Augmentations (DX)

Deus Ex: Invisible War[]

Main article: Biomods
  • Eye
    • Regeneration
    • Vision Enhancement
    • Spy Drone
  • Cranial
    • Cloak
    • Hazard Drone
    • Neural Interface
  • Skeletal
    • Aggressive Defense Drone
    • Thermal Masking
    • Electrostatic Discharge
  • Arms
    • Biotoxin Attack Drone
    • Strength Enhancement
    • Bot Domination
  • Legs
    • Move Silent
    • Speed Enhancement
    • Health Leech Drone

Nano-augmented individuals[]

Deus Ex[]

Deus Ex: Invisible War[]

Deus Ex: Human Revolution[]


Deus Ex[]

Deus Ex: Invisible War[]