The Cyphers are human runners that are allegedly in contact with beings from the planet Syrinx through encoded cyphers called “Enigmas”. They maintain contact, trading technology and code with them, often in exchange for doing their bidding. Not much is known about the Syrinx race: their planet is on the edge of the galaxy, too far away for humans to visit. However, the space probe that first informed humanity of this planet’s existence, Cygnus X-1, was knocked by an asteroid and ended up crashing on the surface of Syrinx. All the Enigmas and all other communications appear to be sent from this probe and bear an unforgeable digital signature.
Runners in this faction are varied, but they all share some common ground: they all have been contacted by the Syrinx and have solved different Enigmas which make them believe they are special and “the chosen ones”. This recruitment technique leads most Cyphers to believe that they are superior to other human beings.
Once the first Enigma is received and solved, Cyphers must install a proprietary implant in order to receive further communications without interference, among other functionalities. This implant, known as “the Glass” due to it being installed on one eye and making said eye look glassy, was developed by the first human believed to have been contacted by the Syrinx and the one person who appears to have the most direct contact with them: the runner coincidentally called GL4SS. This implant is always noticeably prosthetic unless it is covered. The Glass is quite painful and dangerous to install, as it connects to various nervous clusters that other implants avoid due to health and safety issues.
Outsiders have suggested that some Cyphers suffer from hallucinations and psychosis because of the implant. Other’s claim that those mental ailments are in fact a requirement for selection. Whatever the case, some Cyphers decide to take a medication called Cranium to retain more control, while others choose to let the implants fuse with their minds unimpaired, believing this is what the Syrinx would prefer.
Some Cyphers truly believe that they should always follow the Syrinx instructions, while others are not so interested in being servants as they are in the challenge of the Enigmas. Lastly, there are those who only have in mind the technological rewards that come with being a part of the Cyphers. Regardless of the initial reason, Cyphers tend to get themselves increasingly lost in the mysteries of Syrinx.
The mysterious approach the Syrinx have in their communications and the secrecy surrounding their origin has turned the Cyphers into some kind of cult. They organize in groups in which the one who has received and solved more Enigmas outranks the others, meaning all Cyphers should be subordinates of GL4SS, who is the self-proclaimed head of the Children of Syrinx.
Rumours seem to indicate that some Cyphers sacrifice their own identities to the Syrinx in exchange for knowledge, renouncing most possessions and devoting themselves to solving and studying the Enigmas. There are reports of Cyphers even disappearing physically, but remaining active in cyberspace. There are other cases in which Cyphers claim to have been selected for ascension and later on have disappeared entirely without a trace. However, there are also those who attempt to maintain their individuality and try to not get involved with the more fanatic wing of the faction, concentrating instead on just solving the Enigmas to reap the rewards.
Public opinion is divided regarding how real the Syrinx are. Some believe they exist in the form of aliens from outer space, or some other supernatural being, while others say they are simply a figment of the imagination of a crazy cult. There is a middle ground opinion on this subject that speculates that the Syrinx are in fact something or someone masquerading as aliens in order to control all these Cryptorunners. However, the fact is that the Cyphers have some technology that is unbelievably advanced and nobody can quite explain where they get it from.
The Cyphers push themselves to the limit and are more open to having implants than other factions. In their view, devotion to solving riddles is more important than physical looks or wellbeing. Cyphers can look like cyborgs, as they enhance their bodies trying to be more efficient at decoding Enigmas and unveiling the mysteries of the Syrinx.
Some unchosen people try to contact the Syrinx directly, without receiving an Enigma, but there is no known successful case.