Face-swapping (or sub-cellular transfer) is, as the name implies, a medical process employed in plastic surgery whereby a person has their face extensively altered. There are two varieties of this procedure, and the law requires all patients be informed of them before the procedure.
In the first, the new face is 'invented' from scratch through computer-generated imagery, after which the patient's face is molded to match the new choice.
In the second option, pre-existing faces can be chosen from a vast catalog of real faces, after which the face of the patient and the face of the subject from the catalog are literally swapped, each being integrated onto the other. This option is rarely applied, and the subjects offering their faces for swap are understood to be thrill-seekers.
The company that performs this service encourages it's employees to try it, heavily discounted or free. It is a reversible process that can also be used to rebuild an entire face if necessary - for a price. Almost any face can be chosen as long as it is the same race, gender, and blood-line as the patient. The patient undergoing the procedure is drugged at the intake office and shipped to the lab unconscious where their face is removed, flash-frozen, and stored. The new face is then applied.
In special, highly illegal cases, the subjects may not offer their faces voluntarily. Some companies are known to maintain catalogs of prisoners incarcerated in secret by each of the four empires. These prisons are funded by both government bodies and private interests, and the people in them are there for life. Those who are forced to undergo face surgery are given masks of various types, and are shunned by other prisoners.
Types of prisons
In the prisons in Amarr space, these people are given expressionless masks of chrome. Oval with horizontal slits for eyes, nose, and mouth, they shine with a darkly golden-sheen from the electric lamps.
In Gallente space the masks are plaster and are blackened with soot, sweat and blood. They are often set unevenly with bumps, ridges and sharp edges. The Gallente prisoners harvest narcotics grown in man-made and natural caves converted to greenhouses. The lights in them switch from natural to halogen to show the change of day to night. The air is humid and non-masked prisoners are issued several dry cloths a day to keep the sweat off their face. The prisoners do not touch the plants as most of them require processing, but the masked ones are given more lee-way and chew the razor-sharp leaves of one plant incessantly. It turns their saliva brown.
In Caldari space, the prisoners are segregated by gender and are employed in sweatshops. Their masks are oval and bone-white, but fashioned into the shape of a face, the same face. All Caldari masks have the same high cheekbones, the same curve of the eyebrows, and the same thin lips with no hole for the mouth.
In Minmatar space the prisoners are employed in mines and the masked ones wear a mask of metal with hinges for the jaw and moveable eyelids.