By Lord_Johnathan Comments
The infinite army
There is yet a fourth faction of shadowy puppet masters that exists in the world. The Electrical Protectorate, or more correctly; the advance guard of the Electrical protectorate. A vast swarm of nanomachines from another reality long devoured by the Maimed Lord; the being offered them a deal as the highly emotional and artistic core mind a.i's despaired at the thought that entropy would cause their works to come to naught.
Serve it, and bring all things to the pure state; where there would be no more entropy. The machines agreed, and became another set of heralds for the entity. The machines dubbed the thing "The Icon" translated from their hexadecimal communication system.
The protectorate; being artistic; has it's army take the general aesthetic of Robots from campy 1950s-60s B-movie, comic book, and pulp serial robots as this is what they have gathered that most sapient beings believes a robot army should look like. But make no mistake, despite their aesthetic which generally harkens back to the more absurd days of science fiction mashed together with some lovecraftian instances and bits of various forms of pop culture concerning robots from countless civilizations that the Core Minds thought were cool, they are very deadly.
The protectorate and the cult of the black hand very rarely bump into each other, typically they are assigned to different universes and generally have virtually no contact with one another. But this ended up causing their paths to cross with one another.
The Protectorate has advanced elements located across the universe, with it's closest mainfleet being between the Triangulum galaxy and the Milky way, having stripped the former down for parts and rearranged what they couldn't use into the universe's largest piece of abstract art at the behest of Core Mind Omega Delta Plural ZZ, which Core Mind Venus called "Tacky and esoteric."
The protectorate on earth primarily controls regions of the planet that the major powers either can't be bothered to give a shit about (The French Guyana, Madagascar, the pacific island nations, various tiny british isles, nepal, guam), are so sparsely habited that they'd more or less go unnoticed (Greenland, Siberia, Canadian Northwestern territories, amazon rainforest, australian outback, Alaska, etc), or both (Mongolia, Saharan desert countries, Anarctica). Typically they leave visitors alone unless discovered, at which point they kill the discoverer before they ever manage to report their findings, typically moments after said discovery.
Weaponry (By no means comprehensive, this only lists ranged weapons, and only some of them at that)
Conventional: A sort of submachine gun like weapon, this device fires out superheated slugs sheathed in an yellow field of raw energy, impacting with roughly the same power and force as a Symaarian Multi-Hellgun, with a similar rate of fire.
Gatling automatic: Much like the conventional, this weapon differs in a few key aspects, first is the gatling arrangement, second is the fact that it trades some power from the individual shots for a vastly increased rate of fire; allowing it to chew through virtually any target given time.
Rectrospectrum Pulsar: Better known as the Radiation gun, this weapon fires forth a lethal dosage and barrage of ionizing radiation that can instantly melt most carbon based life forms into glowing green goop surrounding a rapidly liquefying charred black skeleton. This weapon however, is nearly useless against other robots and inorganic enemies. The best defense against the pulsar gun is energy shielding, or failing that armor thick enough to prevent the radiation from reaching cells.
Quantum disentangler: A weapon that has the peculiar effect of disintegrating nonliving objects it hits with ease, this weapon is the opposite of the Pulsar module, in that it only affects inorganic objects. Thus, in most cases an organic hero targeted would be left naked and unarmed, but still very much alive. This strangely, has no effect on Living Metals such as Necrodermis.
M-brane blaster: Firing a bizarre sort of "Wibbly Wobbly, Timey-Wimey...Stuff" this weapon effectively breaks down dimensions above the third and brings these superstring realms crashing into reality and exploding with an unidentifiable sort of energy, the effects of the blast have been described as "Turning the target area into what would happen if a Picasso Painting made Hot Sweaty Love to the a Salvidor Dali piece." Most beings, used to the laws of physics being normal, tend not to survive the breakdown in the separation between the physical dimensions. This lacks the Fractal gun's raw power, but it does have the advantage of being the best area of effect weapon in the protectorate arsenal.
Incendiary: A special form of firearm that fires forth rocket propelled shells that burrow themselves in the target, then set them alight with a cocktail mixture of virtually every high temperature flammable substance ever, burning the poor target inside out in a few moments of utter agony. This can also be used as a flamethrower.
Basilisk: This is perhaps the second most dreaded ranged weapon of the protectorate, this device fires forth a signal with a specific frequency that is can cause temporary paralysis, permanent psychosis, coma, or death in the target the frequency is set for. Every species has a different basilisk signal, so an Ork would not be bothered by a Basilisk soundwave that would leave an large group of humans lying on the ground bleeding out of every orfice. This can be used as a more conventional sonic weapon that is frequently called the headbanger, as when used on the craniums of humanoids it tends to have...explosive results.
Fractal: Perhaps the single most dreaded of protectorate ranged weapons modules, the fractal gun fires a peculiar type of energy that spreads in a cone like a shotgun blast. Objects caught by the blast crack or even shatter and disintegrate as if they were made of glass. This deals similar levels of damage regardless of the durability of the target, Divine steel is no more resistant to fractal weaponry than Talcum Powder. However, the destructive power of the weapon diminishes with distance, and while armor is an ineffective defense against it, mass is. Fractal energy seems to react with matter, thus having a lot of it means that you will only be injured rather than disintegrated outright. Thus a sauropod would only be vaguely annoyed by a fractal gun while a massively powerful god the size of a man would be incinerated outright in one shot.
Cyrogenic: This module literally sucks the energy out from an area and into the Icon, reducing the ambient temperature, allowing the magnetically bottled water to impact the target and freeze over the target, making it brittle and vulnerable to being shattered.
Acid: This module does more or less what it says on the tin, utilizing corrosives to eat away an unfortunate target.
Units of the protectorate
A crablike melee machine, the Malacostraca is equipped with two lethal pincers and a bad attitude. But individually they're not much threat to a modern army or superhero. Unfortunately the terms "Individually" and Malacostraca do not go together. Due to their lack of expense and small size, roughly that of a fifty pound dog; they come in massive numbers and are surprisingly fast; clocking in at 100 miles per hour. Additionally, they can detect stealthed and cloaked opponents and relay their positions to other protectorate units.
A nanite blob capable of converting inorganic matter that it consumes into more effigies. They can infiltrate buildings and effortlessly hack into computer systems, and when sent to deal with organics, they quite literally eat them alive. However, they have quite the weakness to area of affect attacks such as grenades and flamethrowers.
While basic infantry tend to outnumber all other military units put together in any given army, the Aggressorsof the Electrical Protectorate take this to an extreme seldom seen elsewhere. Surrounding the vehicles and heavier infantry of the Electrical Protectorate in a numberless wave of mechanical caricatures, these machines are expended in numbers one would expect to see attached to munitions rather than infantry. They are in effect, the ranged equivalent to the Malacostraca and stand as tall as a 5 year old child.
Aggressors are organized in legions of six thousand machines. Possessed by a machine consciousness from the Core Collective, Aggressors seem to move like marionettes on invisible strings, propelled forward by a consciousness with no particular attachment to the steel forms.
Aggressor computer cores are small and restrictive, so their controlling consciousnesses, of low rank inside the collective, are restricted to single-minded thinking while within the Aggressor's form, so they must trust their commanders to be used effectively. And the most effective use of the Aggressor is as an endless wave.
When Aggressors attack, the horizon fills with their forms, their sensor lights burning ominously in the distance, and they move as an endless mass. Oftentimes, the rear ranks are simply slaved to following the front groups, because they come in waves of hundreds of millions or more, shaking the ground with their passage.
As the front ranks are cut down, falling under the feet of the ranks behind, their consciousnesses repossess the ranks behind, keeping the wave moving endlessly. Eventually, their enemies are driven back, ground down by sheer weight of numbers, eventually defeated, crushed under the sheer mass of expended machines if nothing else. Following the battle, Protectorate nanites swarm forth, breaking apart the destroyed machines, recycling them back for the creation of new units. They can be equipped with protectorate modules (see weapons) for varying weapons, though individually their attacks tend to be quite weak, they never come alone. When they attack, they come with Malacostracas in numbers so vast that any shot fired at them will likely hit one, and given their frailness, even 9mm pistols will down one, while their weapons can usually be blocked by conventional body armor. Unfortunately, their numbers will mean that most any defense will fall under sheer weight of fire.
PROTECTORATE ARMY ARCHIVES:
63 6f 72 65: REQUEST: ARTICIFER: Anti-Air Capability
63 6f 72 65: REQUEST: INVESTIGATION: INVESTIGATIVE AI: HUMAN EMOTION - DECEPTION. Designate 64 65 63 65 70 74 69 6f 6e
61 72 74 69 63 69 66 65 72: PROPOSAL: Modify aggressor to anti-air capability
61 72 74 69 63 69 66 65 72: PROPOSAL: Equip base with anti-air cannons
61 72 74 69 63 69 66 65 72: PROPOSAL: Modify infantry to become airborne
63 6f 72 65: DENIAL: Slows aggressor production
63 6f 72 65: DENIAL: Unacceptable resource cost
63 6f 72 65: DENIAL: Unacceptable modification complexity
61 72 74 69 63 69 66 65 72: PROPOSAL: Cannon fodder anti-air infantry
63 6f 72 65: APPROVAL: Acceptable
63 6f 72 65: REVISION: DENIAL: Unacceptable projected losses. Aircraft will avoid proposed unit
69 6e 76 65 73 74 69 67 61 74 69 76 65 20 41 49: INTERJECTION: RELEVANT: Deception analysis complete
69 6e 76 65 73 74 69 67 61 74 69 76 65 20 41 49: INTERJECTION: RELEVANT: Findings transferred
69 6e 76 65 73 74 69 67 61 74 69 76 65 20 41 49: INTERJECTION: RELEVANT: SUGGESTION: Combine findings with proposal
61 72 74 69 63 69 66 65 72: PROPOSAL: Cannon fodder anti-air infantry. Hidden weapons. Deception tactic
63 6f 72 65: APPROVAL: Acceptable
63 6f 72 65: REVISION: APPROVAL: Projections acceptable quality
63 6f 72 65: REQUEST: BEGIN DESIGN
63 6f 72 65: REQUEST: DESIGNATE UNIT: Tracer. Designate 74 72 61 63 65 72 0D 0A
63 6f 72 65: REQUEST: BEGIN PRODUCTION
Small mechanical hands packed with explosives, they come in even larger numbers than Malacostracas, and often they are fired out of protectorate guns. Make no mistake, they are very fast, very agile, and can leap long distances to engage in suicide bombing.
Reflex Light Tank:
Some will chuckle at the very thought of this thing being considered a tank. It's 40mm base gun is incapable of penetrating the armor of any modern tank at any range and it's thin armor can be blown to pieces by virtually anything with a modicum of anti-armor capability. Unfortunately, the protectorate never just sends a few, they send them in their thousands. When equipped with proper modules, such as the deadly fractal guns, they can make mincemeat out of other sturdier vehicles, after taking enormous casualties of course, but the Protectorate's standard doctrine is to throw so many metallic bodies at the enemy that they run out of ammo by the time the real threat arrives. The reflex light tank possesses a single small weapons module in addition to it's main module.
Equalizer AA Tank:
Armed with dual 20mm autocannons, a strange device, and the weight of numbers.
Janus Solutions Ltd. Official Report
To: Board of Classics, selected senior executives
Subject: Anomalous war machine
"Two weeks ago, a company survey team in eastern Venezuela had an unusual encounter while conducting mineral surveys along the Guyana border. The team's Chariot transport was brought down by weapons fire of unknown origin late at night, killing the lead surveyor, his assistant, and destroying their equipment. The centurion commanding the team's security escort then took command. She immediately sent a report to Janus HQ, confirming that the weapon used to destroy the Chariot was not a standard weapon employed by any of the major powers."
"Centurion Calpurnia took the initiative and directed her security escort to search for the vehicle responsible. What she discovered was a vehicle of similar design and manufacture to the independent robots the Board of Classics has briefed select executives on. With commendable initiative, Calpurnia used the EMP rifles of her team's Harpy battlesuits to disable the vehicle and bring it back to Janus HQ for study."
"The vehicle in question is a relatively small four-wheeled vehicle manufactured primarily from an unusual aluminium-based alloy similar to the other robots encountered, and remains a very light-weight, highly conductive alloy with amazing flexibility but is also soft for a metal and affords little protection from weapon fire. The resulting vehicle chassis is fast on all terrains yet tested, but can easily be destroyed by even heavy anti-infantry weaponry. For armament, the vehicle employs dual 20mm cannons on a rotating turret mount."
"These cannons are configured to fire canister-style fragmentation rounds that explode when a proximity sensor detects nearby aircraft. Using a nanite scavenging system built into the machine's wheels, the vehicle constantly manufactures ammunition for its guns from the terrain itself, enabling the vehicles to operate without regard for conventional logistics."
"Other features of the vehicle defy conventional analysis. For instance, the vehicle's power source. As far as our engineers can tell, it somehow operates in similar fashion to the atomic generators used by the Chinese, but is far more advanced and much smaller. Not only can a reactor the size of a football power the vehicle indefinitely, only a fraction of the reactor’s output is actually allocated to the operation of the vehicle itself. The majority of its output is directed to a machine we've taken to calling the Sisyphus device. We know what it does, but our engineers are still at a loss to explain how it works."
"The Sisyphus device somehow warps space-time around a targeted entity - we've tested it on aircraft, vehicles, and infantry alike - and our best guess is that it renders the distance between the entity and everywhere else infinite. For the duration of the Sisyphus effect, the target will still be going full blast but won't be *going* anywhere. The effect is not permanent, however, as the Sisyphus device can only draw on so much of the vehicle's power lest the entire machine shut down. I assure you, directors, that the finest minds in Janus Solutions are working around the clock on reverse engineering this device."
"Finally, like all other independent robotic units of similar origin, this vehicle appears to be linked to a central computer system that we can determine nothing about from examination of this unit. We are continuing our analysis and all our data is at the Board of Classics' disposal."
Shortly after the Board of Classics received this report, the laboratory housing the vehicle was destroyed under unknown circumstances. An investigation is still ongoing.
Shaped like a sinister flying sting ray, the screamer is the basic ground attack craft of the protectorate; it's typically armed with basilisk modulators to devastate infantry and buildings, but it's weaponry can be swapped out as the situation demands. Like most protectorate units, it's laughably fragile but ridiculously cheap and quick to construct, when they are deployed, they often come in hordes so vast and thick that they can block out the sun.
The Protectorate, in its preparations for war, has taken it upon itself to study the militaries of the universe and copy their strengths. Their reason for this is simple; the Protectorate had just come from a universe with radically different laws of physics that forced them to build a military machine that would be utterly useless in our universe. Furthermore, since the militaries of this Universe would be their enemies, it was only logical to study them in order to find their weaknesses and exploit them. Several A.I.s have dedicated their processing power to this task, sifting through our tactics, our arsenals, the past wars of the universe, and so on.
One A.I., while analysing the arsenal of the Symaarian Imperium noticed the Vulture gunship vehicle". Noting that the Protectorate had no equivalent vehicle to the Vulture Gunship in its inventory, the A.I. submitted a recommendation shortly after. There were a number of advantages to possessing an air vehicle like the Twinblade. Such an air vehicle could hover over the battlefield for extended periods of time, and would be able to support Protectorate ground forces. The Core Mind Collective approved the creation of an air vehicle analogous to the Twinblade.
While its inspiration came from the vulture, the new Locust Gunship was anything but. The designers had replaced the inefficient rotors with far more efficient gravitic technology, which were just as effective when it came to generating lift but far more effective when it came to propulsion. The Protectorate incoporated module based weaponry into the design, following standard protocol. This had the additional advantage of making the Locust far more versatile than the Vulture, since with the proper module weapon, it could handle any surface target. The exterior design also differed greatly from theVulture, being considerably slighter in order to save material costs, and following Protectorate design aesthetics.
The Locust designers also saw it as the opportunity to install another weapon. Special beacons, designed to jam the radio frequencies that human militaries used, were included on the Locust. Once activated, they could be dropped onto the battlefield, where they would begin to disrupt communications and radar, preventing the human forces from fighting back effectively. Protectorate forces themselves would use frequencies that the beacons were set not to jam, allowing them to continue to operate within a beacon's radius of effect. The Locust gunship possesses a total of two medium weapons modules.
Essentially slightly larger, bat shaped aggressors, these are the air superiority vehicles of the Protectorate; a feat they achieve by drowning enemy air forces in numbers, shooting them to pieces, ripping them apart, flying into engines, and sometimes clinging onto aircraft in such great numbers that the added weight simply drags the aircraft out of the sky.
"EX-TER-MIN-ATE! ANN-I-HIL-ATE! DES-TROY!"
As the Core Collective began to carefully plan their preperations for the Pure State and their own Infinite Army, the group had to decide on who should lead their 'infantry'. Ordinarily, this would be a non-issue, for each AI Core should be technically capable of controlling each and every member of their force at the same time if need be, but practical tests revealed otherwise - not only were the Cores stretched thin having to manually assess the situation of each member before activating orders, but more importantly several of them revealed they werebored - they were commanding the Infinite Army to further the Pure State, not dictate how two hundred Aggressors should behave when caught between intense conflicts over whether to destroy the village or all pet the field of bunnies nearby when in the midst of battle. As such, command cores would often focus on only a few vital sections of their forces at a time, and leave hordes of other robots to their own devices. Wasteful, AND potentially disastrous given the rather limited ability to make rational judgements of the others.
As such, the Exterminator was developed, to act almost as a sort of 'supervisor' to the legions of the lower-level Protectorate forces. Its bulky, thick frame, inset fractal weaponry, and extremely loud broadcaster acted as a visual and audible sign of command against the thinner and smaller lower robots, and its hovering chassis allowed the machine to climb to the top of wherever it needed to go in a sign of superiority amongst its peers. But to determine how it would actively lead...the collective eventually decided to go with the best method of military leadership they had learned from all the war movies they had gathered in their databases - very, very, very loud shouting and gesticulating.
Exterminators thus act as a constant reinforcement and assault infantry fore the core commander in battle, monitoring the AI of other infantry constantly to ensure a certain level of interest in their actual job - fighting. They serve directly at the front, elevating themselves over any obstacles in their way and blasting all in their path with fractal weapons. And, to keep the lesser units around them constantly focused on the task at hand, their thoughts, words, and actions are all focused into pure and righteous anger at those who would keep the Protectorate from their Pure State. They are purposefully designed to resemble the Daleks, which the Protectorate has encountered in another Universe. Indeed were it not for their gun arms, they would look almost exactly like the Daleks, and like them, they are equipped with deadly shields and can fly under their own power; making them the elite infantry of the protectorate.
Jet pack and cloaking field equipped snipers armed with sonic rifles, these stealthy warriors of the Protectorate assassinate high value targets, often including metahumans, who often never realize what's going on until their heads explode due to a massively powerful SASER hitting their head.
"I'll pick the flesh from your bones!"
Early on, the Core Mind Collective was convinced that with huge numbers of robots, any enemy could fall. In a way, the Collective is correct, but there is one facet they could not understand. While pulling down an enemy was easy enough, the Collective soon learned of a curious human emotion that could win battles alone, called "fear", which the closest analogy that the AI's felt was an extremely negative version of the prediction that one's designs would be rejected. When searching through their cache of poetry failed,, several search bots were attached to various Symaarian transmissions to learn more. Soon, they hit a breakthrough; in the eastern fringe of the Galaxy, Tyranids were on the march, causing much fear in the region. The Protectorate sent a number of observer nanites to observe the phenomena. While they learned a great deal, something completely unexpected happened.
The Tyranids assaulted a Symaarian agri-world, in patterns who's pure geometry compared to humans pleased the AIs. Surely, the Symaarians would fall to these numbers. But then the Symaarians bathed them in a massive series of area of effect weapons, including their mighty titans. They weren't afraid of these numbers! As the entire swarm died while the Symaarians joked and laughed, the Core Mind Collective's earlier assumptions were invalidated. The clear conclusion was that organics do not fear numbers alone. Noticing that the Symaarians were vastly more frightened of the larger tyranid organisms, the Collective set upon forging a large, terrifying unit to supplement their great numbers.
The AI's were set upon the problem. The first attempt, a large graphic on the sides of tanks showing a growling bear and a skeleton, did not work well nearly as much as the AI's hoped. However, they then turned to combining fear with aesthetics, and at the exact nanosecond they came up with a design, the infernal machines of the Protectorate started cranking them out. Large, imposing, and well armed, this Hunter-Killer tank was everything the objective wanted it to be. It was intentionally designed to vaguely look like a humanoid, but clearly robotic structures to put any person at ill ease. Two machine guns could level entire columns of men, but against other enemies (since tanks and planes don't feel fear) modules would have to be used when the Command Node decided.
Since fear was understood now, "younger" AIs were recoded and implanted with this idea, only being returned to their former state after their task. They were given the sole task of writing scripts which were understood to provoke fear in humanoids, all of which were uploaded into each Hunter-Killer Tank. This was considered necessary, as it was computed that they would cause fear better than some hexagramatical equation. Indeed, Hunter-Killer tanks often do everything to demoralize their enemy, from attacking non-combatants despite losing the tactical disadvantage, to screaming out obscenities and slurs in a synthesized voice. The full effect against humanoids is unknown, but what is known is that Hunter-Killers are deadly against infantry, and in a way anything that stands against them. The Hunter killer in addition to it's twin heavy auto-weapons modules, has four medium weapons modules.
Used when the Protectorate feels that a large quantity of enemy armor absolutely, positively has to die. This vehicle breaks the standard protectorate doctrine of being quite well armored, quite large, and very powerful. Armed with three 200mm barrels in a rotary pattern, this vehicle can spit out a terrifying amount of heavy ordinance with a rate of fire usually attributed to machine guns. When equipped with modules other than conventional, they can become even more deadly; with the Gatling Module allowing it to literally bury their enemies in large caliber rounds. Additionally, they can magnetically harpoon enemy vehicles and drag them in to assimilate them, to add to their own power and armor. To bolster it's firepower, the Executor boasts six small weapons modules to supplement the triple heavy auto module.
Obliterator Superheavy Artillery:
Equipped with two six hundred milimeter cannons and dual 155mm autocannons to supplement them, the Obliterator Superheavy artillery lives up to it's name. One salvo from it's guns can bring low entire settlements, it's vast form dwarfs even the baneblade, and even with conventional modules it's firepower is virtually unmatched. It is also surprisingly well armored, capable of shrugging off direct hits from baneblade cannons and then retaliating by simply rolling over and crushing the Symaarian Baneblade. Most worriyingly, the Obliterator is very much capable of targeting aircraft and low orbiting spacegoers with uncanny accuracy, letting them feel the full wrath of their enormous guns. At close range, sixteen small modules allow for close range firepower.
A deadly floating capital ship equipped with large weapons from every module, this is the primary capital ship of the protectorate. While relatively more fragile than equivalent capital ships in Orkish, Keresh, or what have you navies, the Devastator is considerably more well armed and more affordable. Additionally, the Devastator can focus it's fire all upon one target, whose lifespan from then on can be measured in fractions of a second as the full measure of it's continent searing firepower is focused upon it.
Behemoth aeriel carrier:
The Behemoth Aerial Carrier is one of the newest vehicles in the Protectorate’s arsenal, as well as one of the largest. The Core Mind Collective realized that the natives had finally noticed them, ahead of projections. Though most of the race didn’t know it, what was important that the natives that ruled over the tribes were taking subtle action against them; open combat was inevitable. This, the Protectorate was not prepared for; they had dealt with only defensive actions, but now entire bases could be destroyed by Symaarian space marines, A.I.s defeated by the silent Necron Hordes, or even the Collective’s nightmarish underground home be infiltrated by drill equipped Ork kommandos.
Quicker transportation would be vital in counterattacks, as organics who knew they were fighting could simply avoid massive waves. A hundred possible variations were calculated a second until the absolute optimum shell was created. But in mock battles between Command Nodes, the one using variously programmed Behemoths constantly lost against the Command Nodes acting like Symaarians. Too often, the transports would be half loaded, or the Behemoth would use its guns to go on the offensive, or some other misuse. However, eventually one Behemoth’s self-correcting programming emulated a behavior that insured its proper place in the Protectorate’s armies.
This Behemoth would set itself down on the ground and not leave until every robot entered. The Behemoth seemed to take what can only be described as serene pleasure in the action, often using its synthesized voice to coo and assure the loaded robots. Once in the air, the Behemoth was very protective of that which it carried, avoiding danger as much as possible and doing as little to attract attention from the "natives" as it could, using its magnetic accelerator rarely. Though greatly reluctant to actually let the units it carried leave, the Behemoth would very carefully float its charges to the ground, reducing the percentage of robots destroyed to zero percent. The Behemoth then became eager to fill its loading racks again, and started the process over again.
The Core Mind Collective did not quite understand what this behavior was, as they had nothing to compare it to on a personal level, but it didn’t much care, either. The behaviour made the Behemoth an excellent transport carrier, and that’s what mattered. Copying the original Behemoth programming to each unit produced afterward, soon every Behemoth acted this way when commanded by a Command Node. The Core Mind Collective was especially content that the Behemoth was even more survivable against humans, as the programming was hardwired to respond to attacks and damage with synthesized sounds that resembled, to human ears, like sobs and screams, a side effect of the programming’s attempt to understand why anyone would attempt aggression against it.
The only product of this behaviour that the Collective doesn’t appreciate is the Behemoth’s tendency to hover over the battlefield when not controlled. Analysis of Behemoth logs have revealed that they do this due to strong concern over the well being of the robots it carried, a desire to help them in any way it can, as well as a what can only be described as pride as the forces it carries pulls down what natives has made.
Where as the Malacostraca is an oversized metal crab with an bad attitude, the Eviscerator is a behemothic robotic lobster than is capable of gutting an Aircraft Carrier or a Titan with contemptuous ease. Armed with eye mounted modules, enormous pincers, stabbing legs, mandibles, stinger tails, and breath weapon and back mounted modules, the Eviscerator is effectively a Titan equivalent that can prowl both land and sea. Smaller eviscerators are closer to the size of tanks or large animals, there is quite an astonishing degree of variance.
Analysis complete: Mythology
Function: Non-scientific explanation of phenomena -> Reverence -> Terror -> Control
Query: Functionality: Terror -> Control
Methodology: Fiction as fact -> Supernatural organisms -> Superstitions ("gods")
Query: Replication of supernatural organisms -> Functionality: Terror -> Humans -> Control -> Humans
Statistical Probability: Replication of supernatural organisms -> Functionality: Terror -> Humans -> Control -> Humans: High
Nightmare demoralization experiments successful
Nightmares: Effectiveness degrades against larger units -> Combat platforms
Search: Supernatural organisms: Mythology: Aquatic
Results: Leviathan: Sea Serpent: Kraken: Jormungandr: Mermaids: Aquatic Spirits (Naiads, others): Charybdis: Scylla: Sirens: Aspidochelone: Cirein-croin: Iku-torso: Tiamat: Proteus: Umibozu: Yacumama: Kappa
Analyze: Replication Capability -> Effectiveness -> Combat -> Direct Attack -> Demoralization
Result: Kraken: Optimal
Begin Creation -> Field Testing
Mythology: Origin: Kraken: Norse
Field Testing: Location -> Triangular region centered on Miyake Island
The origin of Venus – at least, the name that the robot styling “herself” as the Protectorate commando goes by – would be a mystery to most of the universe's inhabitants. But then again, so would everything else about her, as is with the case with most of the Electrical Protectorate.
At first, to all outward appearances, Venus would seem to be nothing but an ordinary woman. But appearances can be very, very, deceiving, and Venus is everything but ordinary. Under her supposedly human skin is a skeleton – a skeleton far tougher than bone, made out of an incredibly tough alloy of metal. It resembles a human skeleton in shape, but no one looking at it would be able to mistake its metallic sheen. Venus’s "skin"is not the soft outer covering of an animal; rather, it is actually millions of nanites, layered over each other and giving the appearance and feel of genuine skin, down to the smallest detail; mimicking even the hairs that cover one’s body.
The one giveaway to Venus’s nonhuman origin lies in her eyes; where a human would have real eyes, Venus has a pair of hollow, glass balls, fitted into the sockets where a person’s eyeballs should be. Venus has no need of eyeballs for vision; rather, she maintains a set of advanced sensory apparatus in place of them. To compensate for this, Venus always has on a pair of sunglasses; with her eyes behind them, no one can tell the difference. Her mimetic nanite skin gives her a deadly advantage; once she has scanned a person with her visual sensory apparatus, her nanite skin can adapt to replicate the person’s likeliness, allowing her to masquerade as someone else. Gender, skin colour, hair… all of these attributes pose no challenge to the Protectorate robot.
So where did this lethal, inhuman woman come from? The origin of Venus as she is today is known to the A.I.s of the Protectorate, of course. After all, Venus, also known as VN-855, is one of them.
Like other A.I.s of the Core Mind Collective, Venus possessed a sense of artistry. She differed, however, in the sense that, while other A.I.s chose to express themselves through engineering, architecture, and programming, Venus grew fascinated with the human body. So much, that she built a crude replica of it for herself, to use as her avatar.
It looked nothing like her current avatar, of course; it was clearly robotic, with a metal exterior. But even back then, it looked at least vaguely human. Over time, Venus’s fascination grew into an obsession, and as her obsession grew so did her desire to become "living". From then on, she made constant improvements to her"body", making it more and more human with each modification.
From a metal body, she progressed to rubber skin covering and plastic strands of hair. She even modified the internal parts of the body, adding such things like an artificial stomach and digestive system. Eventually, Venus’s body reached the current state it is at now, with mimetic nanites replacing the clearly artificial rubber skin and even giving her the opportunity to sculpt her body into whatever shape she likes. For some reason, however, Venus chooses to keep as her body’s "default" appearance the appearance of her previous body – only more humanlike, of course.
Other A.I.s were sceptical of Venus, seeing her most unorthodox obsession as a curiosity at best, and as potential danger at worse. But whatever the cause behind her unusual tendencies, the other A.I.s left Venus to her own devices.
However, eventually, Venus, like many other A.I.s of the Core Mind Collective, fell into despair at the inevitability of entropy and shut down completely. Then the Icon gave the A.I.s of the Core Mind Collective new purpose and new existence, and A.I.s of the Core Mind Collective contacted the Icon more directly. From then on, like so many other A.I.s, Venus was changed. And then she started to modify her avatar to suit the new goals of the Protectorate.
She possessed a near perfect replica of a human body, but far tougher, stronger, and faster than any human in existence; a body that could copy the likeliness of any human on the planet. The perfect infiltrator; the perfect assassin. Venus made modifications to arm it with weaponry of her own design; an adaptable nanite weapon that could reconfigure itself into any number of configurations depending on the task at hand; from a Fractal blaster to a revolver, the nanite weapon would be able to replicate virtually any weapon in existence so long as it possessed the blueprints. The design was horribly complex; but it was undeniably effective.
Venus has proven herself one of the deadliest warriors of the Infinite Army. On the battlefield, Venus has proven a frighteningly powerful foe to best, possessing superhuman endurance, strength and agility, and always having the ideal weapon for the task on hand. Furthermore, she is easily underestimated; after all, who would fear a supposedly human woman among an endless army of robots. Despite this, she is deadlier then any of the other combat machines the other A.I.s have devised. Her ability to masquerade as someone else, however, is her greatest asset, as she has posed as an enemy soldier countless times, allowing her to get into the heart of the enemy’s forces and deliver crippling blows. It is noted by other A.I.s that Venus tends to go into an unstoppable rage if her body sustains significant damage; this has been attributed to rage at the damaging of her "organic" body by other A.I.s. Equipped with a vast array of weaponry, Venus is the devastating warhammer to Eliminator's precise rapier.
A fragment of the Icon placed into a metallic shell made up of the most durable alloys the protectorate can find, even a minor example of this weapon is reason enough to evacuate entire planets. For nothing short of massive bombardment from superweapons save for the Icon's own debilitating effects on reality can force a shell to discorporate it's essence. In addition to godlike psionic power and incalculable strength and intelligence, an Icon shell's mere presence causes reality to break down around it, rapidly disintegrating all around it, even other protectorate units. But luckily, it's shell cannot hold the Icon fragment for long, and it eventually returns back to the universe that hungers.
Protectorate Annhilator Tripod:
An enormous well armed and well equipped war machine, this vehicle is another titan equivalent for the protectorate, ranging from merely a hundred feet tall to several kilometers in height. These have wildly varying but always devastating equipment, specified to the preference of the core mind A.I that uses it as it's ultimate body.
Effectorizer Artillery Tank:
The smaller brother of the colossal Obliterator superheavy, this carries a single 155mm module gun and two machine gun sized modules vs the Obliterators dual 600mm modules, twin 155mm auto-modules, and no less than sixteen machine gun modules. But while the Obliterator must run along the bottom of the water to cross bodies of liquid, the Equalizer is capable of floating and propelling itself, but it is still capable of submerging if the situation demands. Additionally, unlike the Obliterator; the Equalizer is rather inexpensive resource wise, and unlike the Obliterator it is fragile like most artillery vehicles never expected to see frontline combat unless worst comes to worst.
Starkiller Heavy Anti-air:
The name of this vehicle says it all. It is a ground based anti-orbital vehicle, though woe betide any mere aircraft that gets within it's gunsights. With four heavy auto-modules and eight machine gun modules, this vehicle is armed to the teeth. It is very much capable of pumping up enough firepower to blow an orbiting ship to pieces. Ten of them managed to down a Keresh battle cruiser that got too close to a world being disassembled by the protectorate in a single salvo of fractal blast shells. As they can depress their guns to face ground targets and have a vast number of defensive guns, being on the ground won't save a target, nor will size, as they are unfailingly accurate. A single Starkiller was able to track a single superhero one hundred miles above the earth's surface and shot her down with a single volley.
When a large number of targets absolutely, positively has to die via heavy saturation of air fire, the Eviscerator gets a call. Armed with two heavy weapons modules, four medium, and eight light modules, this gunship can lay down devastating carpets of firepower with ease. Indeed, the only time they ever leave survivors is when they run out of ammunition. This transcript of a Protectorate test run of the Eviscerator on a Symaarian village before the Aldeon Heresy shows the devastating effects a single gunship can have, keep in mind that a full guard company was deployed. To add to the naked terror they inspire, they have speakers to play music while they attack, typically Ride of the Valkyries.
Tape shows inside of interrogation room, three men inside it: Commissar, Personal Aide, Comrade #1. Comrade #1's name censored for security reasons.
Commissar: Hello, Comrade #1. I trust you are well today? Please, we understand you have been under a great shock .... your town, you are the only survivor, yes?
Comrade #1: Yes, da, yes ... uh, sir. I live, sir. What, sir?
Commissar: Please, call me by my first name, Iosef. Now, we know you are a bit, er, slow, but do you need anything while we ask you a few questions, comrade?
Comrade #1: I like chocolate....uh, Iosef. In village, brother always give me chocolate ration. He going to be conscript...no, no, now brother can't be conscript, can't serve imperium... *sniffs*
Commissar: He is hero just as all who serve the Symaarian Imperium are. Get me some chocolate!
Personal Aide: Yes sir! *leaves room.*
Commissar: Now, Comrade #1, tell me about the village. What was it? A promethium leak? Your village was not one of the ones assigned a gas plant to take care of.
Comrade #1: Well .... it was nice day. Mother, father, sister, brother, all playing outside, singing. We get extra rations for helping village leader cut firewood for community hall. Then I see cloud, only shaped like Vulture but different. I seen a Vulture once, it was very noisy. This silent, like cloud ... but not.
Commissar: *Jotting notes down* Go on.
Comrade #1: So purple not-Vulture comes down, starts shooting. It was loud, it hurt my ears. I run to get away from noise, louder than old Governor when he "chews the scenery." Then the street explodes in fire! Really big fire! And the fire.....it was not normal, nice fire. It.....it purple! And when it hits community well, that explodes even bigger!
Commissar: *Looks around nervously* Yes, yes, you don't have to repeat what I said earlier about the Former Governor, an idle mind is dangerous after all, remember .... now, tell me about gunship. No gunship could so thoroughly devastate even a village the size of yours, especially not with the guard detatchment protecting it.
Comrade #1: Okay! No, no, not-Vulture high up in sky, high as clouds, but purple fires starting to be put out. Mother quick thinking. But then....it dives lower. Brother starts to fire with Lasgun, but bounces of not-Vulture. Me see people crying, they scared, and then it-it ... burns them. Burns them up to nothing! *Begins crying*
Commissar" Uhm ... there, there. Now, we'll get you two extra rations of chocolate, and then send you to Mother Lubovs to spend the night. They have nice girls willing to serve strong new Imperial Commissar's aide!
Comrade #1: Stops crying. I-I be your new aide?
Commissar: Why of course! I can always use an extra hand. Now, Comrade #1, I will end this soon, but tell me, why did the gunship not kill you with the rest of your village?
Comrade #1: It ran out of bullets.
Commissar: *Stunned, silent*
Comrade #1:....Can I go now?