No Better: The Myth of Human Augmentation is a three part eBook in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, written by William Taggart. The eBooks can be found throughout the game. In the eBooks, Taggart presents his personal views on human augmentation.
I find myself returning to a story that touched my life; a story about Ezekiel, a young man torn apart by the trauma of augmentation. A man I was lucky enough to be able to help.
Ezekiel was a Marine who had been severely wounded in the Gulf. Believing he had something to prove, he asked to be augmented and returned to duty. But when his tour was over, the shock of his changed self sent him into a spiral of despair. He looked for death back home - and there our paths crossed.
I was able to turn him around, to convince him to have his augmentations removed. After recovering in a Humanity Front clinic, Ezekiel was able to return to the man he'd once been—and became a model case for our group’s beliefs. He was truly healed.
Humankind has always sought to improve itself; from the earliest iterations of civilization, we improved our minds through education and the pursuit of knowledge, our souls through the quest for spiritual truth, and our bodies through the eradication of disease and hunger.
You will forgive me, perhaps, when I dare to say that the human being is a divine engine - it is the ultimate expression of life on our Earth, and so it is a most precious and sacred thing. Humanity is what we have, it is what we are.
But that purity falls beneath a shadow, and that shadow is greed, it is weakness. The power is at our fingertips to replace flesh with steel and plastic. But the truth is this: for each piece of yourself you surrender, your humanity dies a little more. You are no better.
Some people think that I am a fool to advocate a cessation of augmentation technologies, that I am some sort of backward-looking Luddite yearning for a past that no longer exists. But the truth is, I embrace the future - a human future.
I know that the genie cannot be returned to his bottle - yes, my friends, what has been learned cannot be unlearned - so in that case, we owe it to our species and our progeny to correctly manage this most corrosive, most dangerous technology. Without oversight, we run the risk of losing all that we are. We begin an uncontrolled fall toward inhumanity.
Quite simply, augmentation must not be allowed to run wild. Regulation and control are the key to a safe, sane tomorrow. This is not some great surrender of freedom, not some draconian diktat - it is common sense.