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Envoys were trained and conditioned to transfer from planet to planet and into new bodies without the disorienting effects of needlecasting, meaning they could be combat-ready within moments. But Takeshi later got even better training after he joined an uprising against the Protectorate, led by a rebel named Quellcrist Falconer, that sought to prevent a future in which immortality became available only to the super rich.
To give them an edge against numerically superior forces, Falconer trained defectors like Takeshi as well as new Envoys to use several additional capabilities: not only could they needlecast between planets and be ready to fight almost immediately, they could withstand torture, and heighten their perceptions through pattern recognition and other techniques.
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The world of “Altered Carbon” has quite a few weird concepts with tough-to-remember names, and it can be easy to miss key explanations if you’re not paying close attention.
For example: why protagonist Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman in the show’s “present,” Will Yun Lee in flashbacks) has seemingly superhuman fighting abilities.
Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.
Takeshi is what’s known as an “Envoy,” a special breed of soldier used by the military hundreds of years before the show takes place, and still held in awe by people in the present.That changed after the creation of “Stacks,” special hard drives installed in the brainstem of every human that saves their consciousness like software on a normal computer.The upshot is that as long as the Stack remains intact, the person’s consciousness will survive the death of their body; the stack can then be attached to another body, theoretically giving humanity a kind of immortality.It looks like he can see through walls, but he’s actually just using his heightened perception to intuit where his enemies were, and will be standing.Even so, Envoys like Takeshi appear superhuman to other people — to the point it’s commonly believed they can read minds.