While all stitchpunks are unique, most follow a basic design.
- Optics: The main features of the head include two optics. The optics are complex iris diaphragm aperture shutters, much that those of a camera. Diaphragms are all similar in design, but can vary in blade number. The more blades in the diaphragm, the less blurry out of focus areas appear. The number of blades can range from six up to a whopping 16 blades. They serve as visual receptors, allowing stitchpunks to see in color. While most stitchpunks have two optics, it has been shown that there are those who can get by with just one or (to varying degrees of success) with none at all. All stitchpunks suffer from mild tunnel vision, due to the nature of their optics, which are inset into their heads.
- Brows: Stitching in arcs over the optics are a parallel to eyebrows, and while small, they are very important. They serve a major role in facial expressions, which communicate a range of emotions.
- Mouths: All stitchpunks have mouths, represented by a slit in the fabric on the lower half of the face. When speaking, the mouth is opened, closed, and its shape is manipulated in accordance to the words being spoken.
- The torso holds some of the most vital mechanics of a stitchpunk, and is built to withstand much force. There is an opening on either the front or back of a stitchpunk (sometimes both), and one’s name or number is traditionally inscribed on the back of the torso in ink. Openings are present to allow access to the internal structure for the purposes of storage, repair, examination, and soul binding. They fasten in numerous fashions, which include, but are not limited to, buttons, zippers, latches, buckles, belts, lacing, and simple stitching.
- Arms: The arms of stitchpunks function simply, much like human arms, for lifting, moving, and interacting with objects in their world. At the end of each arm, the fabric skin is tied off just before the wrist, and a hand is located. Hands have three fingers and a thumb, totaling four digits. Fingers are generally made of metallic materials, although the materials for the palm can consist of either metal, or wood, possibly with a cloth covering. The three main fingers consist of two hinge joints each, while the thumb’s base joint is a ball and socket joint to allow for opposability.
- Legs: The legs of stitchpunks allow them to traverse the terrain of their world, and like the arms, the fabric is tied off near the end, allowing for an ankle. The feet, which can be comprised of either metallic or wooden components, are often in two parts, which are joined together by a hinge joint. Though feet are also crafted as one piece, the two piece design allows for better maneuverability.
- Fabric acts as skin, and covers almost all of the body of a stitchpunk. It can be found in various types and patterns. While fabric is not the sturdiest substance in the world, and can be damaged, it is flexible and can stretch, allowing for a great range of movement. Damage can be repaired by stitching or the addition of a patch. Overall, the fabric of stitchpunks is sensitive to touch.
- Auditory Sensors: All stitchpunks have auditory sensors located on each side of the head, where human ears are located. They are hidden beneath the fabric of the skin, but are vital in picking up sounds and determining their origin.
- Wiring: The structure underneath the skin of the head consists of wiring that connects from the auditory sensors and runs down through the neck to the main processor.
- The upper torso contains groups of circuits and wires which allow the main mechanics of stitchpunks to function properly. Prominent features include a voice box, which allows speech, and an adapter plug for connecting with the talisman. Protecting the vital components are two sets of ribs that branch out from either side of the spine and stop to leave an open space at the front to allow access. All of these noted structures, including the inside of the fabric, are very sensitive to touch, and stimuli can cause a pleasurable sensation. Conversely, the sensitivity can cause pain if components are damaged or handled roughly. Stitchpunks who are carrying have the child’s soul attached to theirs within the torso. For more information, see the page on stitchpunk pregnancy.
Most stitchpunks have openings in the front of their torsos, but there are those who are designed with openings in the back. These differences are more than simply external; the internal structure of the torso must change dramatically for the point of access to be of any use.
- Front Openings: Stitchpunks with openings in the front have the common design of ribs that run virtually parallel to each other, and almost perpendicular to the spine. Their circuitry, voice box, adapter plug, and other components all face forwards, and are fixed in their positions. They can be easily reached due to the gap in the ribs.
- Back Openings: Those who are designed with openings in the back, however, are built quite differently. The point of access is from behind, and the usual parallel rib design would bar attempts to reach the internal structure. Instead, all of the ribs steam from a common, single point (the back of the base of the neck), and extend diagonally downwards to curl around the front and connect to each other. The components within the ribcage face towards the back, save the voice box, which must face forwards to allow stichpunks to speak in the direction they are facing. In order to be both used, and repaired, the voice box is held on a vertical axis, which can swivel around to face either way, and can be locked into a single position.
- A note: Stitchpunks with their only openings in the back are likely to develop very dependant tendencies. They have no real way to repair themselves, install or replace pieces, or even open themselves up. They must rely on someone else to do it for them.
- Arms: Each arm has three main joints: one each at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Respectively, they are ball and socket, hinge, and ball and socket joints.
- Legs: Like arms, each leg has three joints (the hip, knee, and ankle). In order, they are ball and socket, hinge, and ball and socket joints. The hip structure has two to three springs per leg, which connect from different points on the hip socket to the knee. They allow for shock absorption when running, jumping, or falling.
Repair, Medical Care, and Treatments
- Stitches: When the fabric skin of a stitchpunk is damaged, either by ripping, cutting, burning, or otherwise, repair is a necessity. If the wound is left open, grime, dirt, or other irritants could enter and affect and/or damage internal workings. Additionally, if left open, it could increase in size, or the fabric could run. Cuts and rips are repaired with stitches, sewn by hand, with the use of a proper needle and thread. Minor damage that requires stitches is mildly painful to endure depending on the size and location of the injury, but the process of repair is relatively painless.
- Patches: When a gash or hole is too large or ragged to effectively stitch together, a patch of fabric may be cut to the appropriate size and shape and sewn over the area. Injuries severe enough to require a patch can be quite painful, but, like stitching, the addition of the patch holds little pain.
- Manual Tools: The stitchpunks use a myriad of tools for procedures. The most basic include different sizes of needles. Larger needles can be used on looser weave fabrics, while tighter weave fabric may merit smaller, finer needles. Thread is used to stitch together rips and to attach patches. When cutting thread or fabric, embroidery scissors are generally used due to their small and manageable size. The use of them requires two hands. Other tools include clamps and pliers, used for adjusting and holding internal pieces of a stitchpunk. Plain metal (usally nickle or copper) wire is used to secure fabric at the wrists, neck, and ankles.
- Magnets: Internal damage is usually very painful, and the repair and adjustment is just as painful, if not more, akin to setting a broken bone. Magnets disrupt mechanics and circuitry of machines, and as such, when held close to vital parts of a stitchpunk, such as the head or the inside of the chest, can produce a euphoric effect. Because of this, magnets are useful as anesthetics for minor repair or injuries. Overuse, overdose, or recreational use of magnets can cause damage to primary cognitive functions.
- All stitchpunks are different, and thusly, they all have different tolerances for magnets. A good judge of dosage would pertain to size, age, and severity of the injury. Generally, adults require a magnet only mildly stronger than a refrigerator magnet, depending on the pain being experienced. The power of the magnet varies all the way down to infants. Toddlers and infants are simply too delicate to be in a close proximity to an actual magnet, but if anesthetic is needed, a simple solution is a magnetized needle. Magnetized needles are very weak, and can be obtained by either removing them from a compass, or by creating one. Magnetizing a needle is a simple process that only requires running a strong magnet in one direction down the length of the needle in repetition. Dropping a magnetized needle from too great of a height can demagnetize it.
- As a note, a very strong magnet, such as the one that 8 uses to mount his knife on his back should never be used on a stichpunk, except in very extreme situations. (See below.)
- Strobe Lights: Strobe lights are complex tools that must be handled with great care. As demonstrated by the Seamstress, the flashing of strobe lights into the eyes of a stitchpunk can hypnotize them into unconsciousness quickly and painlessly. Despite the unnerving connotations for the core nine, strobe lights prove invaluable as general anesthesia. When damage is simply too great, or in a very sensitive area for repair, the use of strobe lights is simply more beneficial for both the doctor and the patient, and is more comfortable for the injured party.
- Resistance to strobe lights is an issue for some stitchpunks. Those who have only one optic are not as affected as much as a stitchpunk with two of them, and to be put out for long enough for a surgery, would have to receive a more intense dosage. Additionally, those with no eyes, or those (3 and 4) who communicate with light flashes from their eyes, are immune to strobe lights. If an immune stitchpunk ever required surgery that is painful enough for the need of anesthesia, the use of a very strong magnet is the only usable substitute. In such a case, it is vital that the stitchpunk holding the magnet is very careful to not get too close with it and consequently cause damage.
Basic Functions and Medical Complications
- Ventilation and Overheating:Like any machine or computer, the functions and activities of the stichpunks create internal heat, which can be damaging over long periods of time, and thus, their bodies must be cooled. In order to keep a cool flow of air in their bodies, stitchpunks ‘breathe.’ The more a stichpunk exerts themselves, be it through labor, fights, or bonding, the more their internal components heat up, causing them to breathe faster.
Resting, almost always in the form of sleep, is an unconscious state, during which the majority of a stichpunk’s mechanics are out of use, and are able to be rested and cooled in a way that ventilation cannot achieve. Going without, or with little, sleep repeatedly can cause both fatigue and overheating, the latter of which has the potential to damage circuitry and wiring. In addition, going without rest can cause stress, paranoia, high-strung emotions, and other psychological issues.
- The treatments for overheating are rather limited, and include bed rest in a cool place, internal repair if needed, and daily, small doses of dilute oil.
Toxins are substances and environmental hazards that are dangerous to stitchpunks.
- Rust: Although it is not a direct toxin, rust is the result of the oxidation of metals, particularly iron-based ones, such as steel. Rust can cause pitting in the metal, and general decline in strength and quality. If rust detaches from the metal structure and becomes free inside the body, it is then classified as a foreign material (See below). Occasional doses of oil are good preventatives for rusting. Removal of rusting may sanding or possibly the use of steel wool. Both are unpleasant and tedious procedures, and the patient is better off unconscious.
- Air Conditions: Humid air with a high oxygen content promotes rust over long periods of time.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: H2O2 is a very common chemical, most often used in human medicine in a diluted (3.0%) form. When exposed to light, it decomposes into hydrogen gas, which is harmless, and oxygen gas, which causes rust. Hydrogen peroxide can cause rusting in under an hour if not cleaned off, and if it contains impurities that include naturally occurring salts, it can cause rusting in only ONE MINUTE. This chemical is very corrosive to the insides of stitchpunks.
- Temperature: Constant external, high temperatures can lead to overheating (see above section on ventilation) because the air that is taken into the body is just as hot, if not hotter as the air the was meant to be cooled. Extreme cold temperatures can cause metal to contract, which is uncomfortable and can cause issues with mobility.
- Foreign Materials: Particulates such as dust, dirt, metal filings, or displaced rust are harmless outside the protective fabric skin of the body. Inside, however, they are irritants. They can cake onto circuits, wires, and joints, causing pain in affected areas. As the body and soul rejects the substances, occasional shakes and shivers can occur. If left untreated, or in extreme cases, the can cause convulsions and disorientation.
Bonding and Carrying
Created by Non Sequitur Metus (With special thanks to Miriku for being a fantastic inspiration, proofreader, and plothole finder. I could not have made this page without her).