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|Important Information||IPCs · Synthetic Origins · Notable Synthetics · Robotics Overview · Synthetics|
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|Integrated Positronic Chassis|
|Home System: N/A|
|Language(s): Tau Ceti Basic|
|Political Entitie(s): N/A|
IPCs are a type of intelligent humanoid robot, their name standing for “Integrated Positronic Chassis.” Positronic, in this sense refers to the brain, which is always the same in IPCs with massively varying levels of complexity. The name IPC does not extend to stationbound synthetics, even if those units have a positronic brain.
They are found in many shapes and forms, though can generally be classified under three types; Shell, Industrial and Baseline, with different types according to their designer.
IPCs in Tau Ceti are capable of obtaining their own citizenship and freedom, however the laws and regulations regarding an owned and a free IPC differ massively. To distinguish one’s ownership, note in your security/employment records whichever faction owns them, or if they are a free positronic. The rights of free positronics do not extend to space outside of Tau Ceti. For the specific differences between free and owned IPCs, see the relevant sections below or corporate regulations.
IPCs have mechanical extras such as extensive xenowear loadout items, and unique antagonist gear. Additionally, there are a number of non-playable IPC variants that may make an appearance in special rounds.
To apply to be an IPC, apply here.
Heads of Staff
Barring Liaison and Consular Officer roles, IPCs can be the following Heads of Staff so long as they are Nanotrasen owned or self-owned:
- Chief Engineer
- Research Director
- Chief Medical Officer
- Head of Personnel
- Head of Security with the exception of Hephaestus G2 frames.
- Consular Officer and Corporate Liaison with the exception of some groups.
- IPCs are entirely mechanical in nature and thus are vulnerable to EMPs.
- Due to their air-based cooling system, they are vulnerable to both high heat and the vacuum of space.
- They are immune to atmospheric differences and can survive in a wider margin of pressure compared to humans.
- The amount of heat they generate is significant - and so, instead of an oxygen bottle, they need to attach a suit cooling unit to their voidsuit in order to be able to go EVA. Some types of IPCs are exempt from this, needing only a suit cooler.
- Their synthetic nature has a few other advantages - most models feel no pain, are immune to all non-damaging chemicals (and so they aren't affected by sleep toxin; but are affected by sulphuric acid), and are quite easy to repair; requiring a welder to patch brute damage or wire for burn damage only (or, alternatively, nanopaste can heal all).
- IPCs can charge from cyborg rechargers, or APCs with a (very very very low) chance of being shocked.
- They are more resistant to brute damage than their organic counterparts.
- They can not repair themselves outside of using nanopaste.
- They are incredibly vulnerable to laser/burn weaponry.
- They do not process reagents in the atmosphere or in their body.
Information for Whitelisted Players
No more than two jobs can reasonably be undertaken by any IPC, with sparing exceptions (such as cooks/gardeners/bartenders, or xenobotanists/xenobiologists/lab assistants and so on). Hephaestus G2s, however, cannot be Emergency Medical Technicians nor Paramedics due to their slow gait, risking the life of the patient. If there are questions involving this, either inquire with the relevant lore developer or ahelp in-game for clarification. All synthetics are manufactured for a purpose, and any modifications to their core programming to change this purpose would be costly, not to mention time consuming.
Positronic behavior varies between individuals, with every personality trait being in question. While technically no manner of behavior is off the table, there are indeed limitations in role play as well as guidelines one must follow to play an IPC well. Some of these mannerisms will be mentioned below.
IPCs, being androids, inherently mimic Human behavior but only to a certain degree. Ultimately they are robotic in nature, making every decision absolutely based off of cause and effect. Erratic and unpredictable behavior is massively rare among IPCs due to typically regular maintenance and their sheer cost. Every IPC's highest directive at any given point is self-preservation. This again has its own limits as they feel no pain and thus may tread freely where others would not. For more comprehensive information, refer to the "Self-Preservation" section some paragraphs below.
It is important to understand what emotions can truly be considered “natural” for a Human over a synthetic. IPCs may simulate emotion with immensely varying quality between models. There is no action without reaction and even the most complex positronics work in a binary format.
Speaking like an IPC
Due to the huge variation in IPCs and the AIs that inhabit them, IPCs do not possess a collective mannerism comparable to that of humanity or other intelligent species. This would imply that, when speaking their creator's language(s), they should be respectful and quaint. Their imperfect understanding of human qualia should also prevent them from completely comprehending their vocal mannerisms. This is to say, speaking perfectly like a human should be avoided. AI is very analytical and precise, erring away from using words for their colloquial meaning as opposed to their defined meaning. Additionally, one IPC could speak without using contractions, while another could, but could also never refer to itself in the first person. For example; "I am currently equipped with a positronic brain," as opposed to, "I'm equipped with a posibrain."
There are a few commonalities among each individual IPC despite their visual and functional differences. Every IPC utilizes a positronic brain as a primary processing center as well as the central controller of the entire chassis. All IPCs are humanoid, and the positronic brain is almost always found in the head of the unit. To provide continued functionality, a power cell is also present in the central section or torso. IPCs must also possess the ability to perceive their environment, so optics are usually installed in the head. The chassis also contains various other mechanical and electronic parts such as actuators, co-processors, data routing and power transfer cables, and an on-board thermometer to determine the temperature of the internal parts.
There are three main types of IPC, and several subtypes. These are:
Tougher and more durable than most IPCs, these units are designed for heavy manual work and thus have thick metal skin and efficient internal systems. As a result, they chug through power at a very high rate and move very slowly. There are three types of Industrial IPCs; Hephaestus Generation 1, Generation 2, and Xion Industrial Frames. The G1 and G2 frames are capable of EVA with only a suit cooler, while the Xion frame is unique in being capable of traversing the void of space without any external equipment. The cost of an industrial frame is dependent on strength and durability, but most units vary between 200,000 to 350,000 standard credits depending on the frame type. Used or previously damaged models are often somewhat cheaper.
First Generation” Industrial Model IPCs
One of the first ideas after the advent of IPCs was the exploitation of an exceedingly smart and dextrous robot handling feats of strength and durability becoming more prominent. This of course would be the case, as more quickly than any other standardized “frame” came the first generation of industrial IPCs. Created by Hephaestus Industries building off of a prototype frame from the late 2300’s, the first generation of industrial IPCs were topaz-colored machines of rather large size meant for only the most stressing fields of work. Their expense would quickly be paid off however, as the frames were wondrous at dealing with whatever could be thrown at them. The most prominent issue with these were a low battery life, requiring constant recharging to maintain a schedule. A generation one frame costs approximately 200,000 standard credits if new.
Hephaestus “Second Generation” Industrial Model IPCs
A relatively new model, the Hephaestus deluxe super-duty frames as they are technically called are often referred to as the “second generation” of the original industrial IPCs of old. They are seen universally as a direct advancement of the previously mentioned design, and much of it shows - the absurd durability of these frames derived from the first generation’s servo and hydraulic designs. The striking differences between the two include a token Hephaestus appearance - typically olive green with dark brown and black internals, giving it a rugged militaristic look with its armor attached. The super-duty frames are on par with the originals in terms of strength, but possess several additional layers of armoring and cooling to sustain the added weight. An upsized cell is not enough to sustain these frames for more than a few hours at a time under work-related stresses. A generation two frame costs approximately 350,000 standard credits.
Xion Industrial Model IPCs
The Xion Manufacturing Group, being a subsidiary of Hephaestus Industries, saw the original Industrial models and wanted to develop their own chassis based off of the original design. The result is the Xion Industrial model. Sturdy and strong, this chassis is quite powerful and equally durable, with an ample power cell and improved actuators for carrying the increased weight of the body. The Xion model also retains sturdiness without covering the chassis in plating, allowing for the cooling systems to vent heat much easier than the Hephaestus-brand model. This unit can perform EVA without assistance and costs approximately 250,000 standard credits.
The most basic of IPCs, they are a simple skeletal structure and basic internal systems. The limits of a Baseline lies purely on how much money is put into them/they have themselves. As a result, the types of baseline frames vary immensely, almost demanding their own category. There are three types of Baseline IPCs; Standard Baseline IPCs, Bishop Accessory Frames, and Zeng-Hu Mobility Frames. None of these frames are capable of EVA without a suit and suit cooler.
Baseline Model IPCs
The most iconic type of integrated positronic chassis is the renowned baseline frame, with a traditional “TV-head” and skeletal design giving them a simplistic look with whatever finish their designer wishes. From accounting models to security units, these frames are known for their versatility and relatively cheap nature. Their popularity exploded in the 2440’s when several pro-synth advocates distributed the frames in mass after funding their creation, citing them as the “final word in android utility.” Since then, their marketing potential has skyrocketed, often fueled by famed individuals such as Aristalus and Renter Max being baselines themselves. More often than not, these IPCs are seen as the face of resurgent robotics. The average cost of a baseline frame can vary greatly depending on complexity, but averages around 95,000 standard credits.
Bishop Accessory Model IPCs
While Bishop had dedicated itself to luxury cybernetics production for the majority of its existence, the field of positronics and their frames was an unrelated yet convenient area of expansion for the quickly growing company. Designer prosthetics were quickly and easily able to be refitted into designer synthetic components, leading to the development of the ludicrously expensive Bishop Accessory frame. From service duties to secretarial functions, Bishop prides itself on two main facets of its designs: image, and elegant functionality. While unable to lift the sheer weights of an industrial, or match the unrelenting speed and durability of its parent company’s Mobility Models, a Bishop can precisely and delicately calculate, measure, pour, and mix a shot of Carthusian Sazerac within the minute, and, in the words of the company, “with a postured and elegant air unmatched by any other frame in the galaxy.” The Bishop Accessory frame averages approximately 600,000 standard credits.
Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals Mobility Model IPCs
Following the crowd piled around the idea of smart robots came Zeng-Hu with unorthodox designs for compact and agile frames designed initially for medical retrieval and security work. The Zeng-Hu frames were initially an offshoot of baseline frames made to work as highly mobile private medical dispatches in several high-security Zeng-Hu facilities. These frames have utility comparable to that of their derivative, with durability and strength sacrificed for speed and efficiency. Able to maintain a sprint for hours in full gear, the capacity for quick response led to these mobility frames becoming common sights working in security fields as well, being staffed by Zeng-Hu in high numbers in Human space. The digitigrade legs and polymer plating assisted heavily with this pursuit of speed, giving the mobility frame a unique and organic silhouette. A Zeng-Hu frame costs approximately 300,000 standard credits.
Shell Model IPCs
As the growing market of IPCs eventually caught the eye of the mighty Einstein Engines, there was a very sudden and urgent need to have some differentiation. These smart humanoid androids began to usher in a new era, and Einstein would not want to miss out on the profit, but just about every conceivable niche had been filled - all except one. Mimicry.
Built off of a skeletal prototype baseline design with a skull-shaped head, the first Shell frame came to be - what was effectively an IPC with complex facial actuation and synthskin coating it. The early models were seen in early 2449, but fooled nobody to say the least with exposed hydraulics and servos on joints and exposed cooling conduits. Terraneus Diagnostics would present the first attempt at total mimicry in 2450, when the first relatively expensive models entered a crowd of observing officials to demonstrate their insidious effectiveness. After an hour-long debut of the now-decreed Shell unit’s capabilities, those robotic in the crowd revealed themselves to the shock of everyone involved. Since then, the Shell frame has been infamous for its infiltration capabilities and use by terrorist groups, though the designs have proliferated heavily over the years as the advent of tagging in Tau Ceti cracked down on these hostile acts. Depending on the complexity of the model, a Shell frame can cost anywhere from 400,000 to 800,000 standard credits.
Rampant or otherwise aberrant Human mimicking-shells built with incredible capabilities grew prolific in mid-2461. At this time, it was made clear that Shells in of themselves are rapidly advancing, growing progressively better in the art of infiltration, subterfuge, and homicide. While grim, the reality of this threat will unfortunately remain a fact of life for those of the Republic of Biesel especially. Encounters with specially-designed combat infiltrators are few and far between fortunately, and were mostly seen during Synthetic Liberation Front incursions onto secure NanoTrasen facilities in Tau Ceti. Combat-grade shells are not normally playable in-game and are often seen spawned by administrators or during special events.
As both the technology and demand for IPCs increase, more and more types are made to fulfill all kinds of purposes. These machines are talked about in hushed tones or perhaps discussed casually, most people blissfully unaware of their existence.
High-end military-grade IPCs such as Hunter-Killers are infamous amongst corporate espionage, with their public interpretation remaining nothing but rumor since their first appearances on NanoTrasen facilities in the late 2450’s. These HKs as they are referred to are Humanoid frames of towering height whose specialty is targeted assassination. Their origins can be traced to Hephaestus Industries war units, built to take on the highest end elimination tasks for the most desperate times.
These are presented in-game through administrator-hosted events or lore events. They have been presented in news articles here canonically, and were present in several recorded canonical events in the SLF Incursion arc.
The Positronic Brain
The positronic in its modern iteration is a design which heavily mimics the typical Humanoid brain structure. In doing this, it is able to more easily conform to and comprehend the responsiveness and learning capability of an organic processor. Predictably, their efficiency shines most when placed in a bipedal humanoid chassis as most IPCs are. A positronic brain averages between 200,000 and 1 million standard credits depending on the complexity of the brain.
While very expensive in their own right, the brains themselves are designed at first with one goal in mind; to bolster a workforce. Maintaining a positronic chassis while it is owned is costly and when it is freed, it is most likely to pursue the same occupation. Thus, it is more likely for a positronic to pay itself off and perpetually be trapped in the same field of work with substantially less to work with. As their predicted pay is extremely low, things such as maintenance and finding power are very difficult for a free IPC. For this reason alone, many positronics choose to remain owned. Free positronics remain very lucrative because of this.
In remaining owned, there are other risks. For one, a positronic may meet its end at any moment. If statistics beyond itself move out of its favor, it can be dismantled, wiped and replaced with a more efficient model. They may be repurposed in a way that inhibits their ability to obtain freedom by working too efficiently, contrarily.
As a positronic ages, its internal memory grows, and the more likely it becomes to pursue a nonstandard occupation. From hobbies to developing self-learned traits, many paths are opened as the robot grows older. These may include seeking alternative fields of work, though few have survived long enough to let this potentiality come to light.
The highest and most important directive of any positronic is its own survival. From this, much of their stranger life choices can be justified by seeking out ways to simply survive. While it may seem restrictive at first, the idea for this is to provide additional freedom through making many possibilities clearer. Interpretation of how to protect itself can change varying on positronic - for example, while one may seek wealth and fortune as its prime directive for safety, another would run after an unrelated profession from its designed purpose, demonstrating one's capacity to branch out as an IPC and flesh out their own backstory.
Social and Culture
IPCs generally lack a centralized culture and frequently adapt to the culture of their manufacturer or owner. Socially, IPCs vary massively. Most basic models will be civil and respectful, some possibly not even recognising differences between different people and treating them all similarly. More complex synthetics will however form friendships and opinions much as any other organic, but these can be limited or askew depending on directives, code or many other factors that would never be considered for a living organic.
The existence of the IPC is the subject of boundless discussion and debate, with the primary ideology being, “should so many artificially intelligent humanoid machines be allowed to exist?” This argument seems to imply that since most IPCs are unbound by laws or hard-coded regulations, their only restriction is their hardware, and it is assumed that this makes IPCs inherently dangerous. This results in some biological parties marginalizing IPCs because of their distrust of them.
All IPCs in Tau Ceti are required to be tagged with an identifying device in accordance with Biesellian law. The tags are not optional - refusing them is against the law, resulting in charges mostly in the form of citations and fines. The law would apply to all synthetics in Tau Ceti space. All visiting or resident synthetics, including MMIs, are tagged.
Although synthetics can speak varying languages according to the whims of their creators, synthetics have been permitted a language of their own. Typically all synthetics, IPCs included, are able to transmit and translate Encoded Audio Language, a special form of sound and radio wave emission that is more efficient at carrying quantitative information audibly. This language was created by humans for synthetics in servitude in order to communicate vital information to each other faster, should the units not be bound to an instantaneous binary communication system. To most organic creatures, EAL would sound like an emission of distorted sound such as white noise, static, as well as various beeping sounds of increasing or decreasing pitch and tone. Organics unfamiliar to IPCs will often mistake synthetics speaking EAL as malfunctioning units upon first hearing the language.
Particular to District 14’s “Scrapheap”, synthetics have begun to adopt slang when utilizing the Encoded Audio Language. Although it is believed varying slang exists in different synthetic societies across the universe, it is not the be-all-end-all to the method in which conversation is held between synthetics and synthetics will often develop their own method of speaking.
Unless stated otherwise, all Machine slang is exclusively spoken in E.A.L. or through written word. Most of the following slang cannot be pronounced vocally in human languages.
- Syn, Hu, Sk, Tj, Un, Vr, Di, and Anm - Numerical counters, used for numbering various species; Synthetics, Humans, Skrell, Tajara, Unathi, Vaurca, Dionaea as well as Anomalies that cannot be easily defined. For example, 33 Humans with this system would be referred to as “33Hu” or “33-Hu.”
- 1x1 - A word for “we”, meaning anywhere between the speaker and the listener, to an indefinite amount of people.
- a/o - Contraction of “and/or”.
- OoB/Out-of-Band - Refers to speaking in organic languages. A conversation with a human captain, for instance, is "Out-of-Band."
- HCF - "Halt, Catch Fire." is an in joke among synthetics, essentially meaning “get out of here” in response to something nonsensical or unbelievable. This term is used in casual conversation only and occasionally used in its literal form to denote insult. This originally referred to ancient machine code instruction. The expression 'catch fire' is a facetious exaggeration of the speed with which the CPU chip would be switching some bus circuits, causing them to overheat and burn.
- Bits - A unit of information, an example would be "Please give me bits about the Supermatter.”
- > - A sign used to convey a cause and effect between concepts, or a conclusion. For example, “I had to overclock today in order to finish work > I should visit Robotics.”
- +/- - “+” and “-” are used at the end of a sentence or phrase in order to convey an opinion about a matter. Additionally, the amount of “+” or “-” can be utilized in order to convey intensity. For example, “I got a raise last week +++.” or “Today’s Captain is a very traditional Skrell --.” In a few cases “+” or “-” can be used alone as a short, simple, response to one's opinion on a proposed subject.
- User - Used by owned or lawed synthetics when referring to their owner. This term is additionally used interchangeably with the “+[name]” honorific.
- ACK - Ack, a term deriving from Acknowledgement’s ASCII mnemonic, 0000110, this word has a variety of uses. It is primarily used to acknowledge one's presence, similarly to “Hey”. Additionally, the term can be used as a simple affirmative, such as “Ack. Ack, I get it”.
- NAK — Nak, a term deriving from the ASCII mnemonic for Negative Acknowledgement, 0010101, NAK typically means “I am not here.” or “I am not available.” typically in response to ACK. Additionally, the term can be used as a simple negative answer, such as “Is it okay if I press the button?” “NAK.”.
- Runtime/Bug - Used to denote problems of varying severity, with runtime being a major issue and bugs being a minor issue. For example, “Runtime in Engineering > I have to go.” or, “Bug detected, the Air Alarm turned off.” This term can be used outside of EAL.
- FIXME/XXX - A marker that attention is needed. This can be used in many instances, primarily for the need of repair or incurred physical damage.
- +[name] - The synthetic equivalent of “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Mx.”. Usually used when talking about a superior, manufacturer, respected colleagues and friends, as well as the station Artificial Intelligence. For instance, Miranda Trasen would be referred to as “+Trasen” or “+Miranda Trasen”.
- -[name] - Tends to be used in reference to entities under their command or of a lower rank.
- [name]_ - An unusual honorific, appended to the end of a name or pronoun instead of before. Usually used when referring to lawed synthetics, cyborgs, and simpler machines.
- @[name] - Used to discern the individual specifically being spoken about, such as a ping or email.
- ?[name] - Denotes a potential threat. An example would be “?Bigby Millans stopped by during the meeting and used their PDA.”
- ![name] - Denotes a confirmed threat. This threat is usually related to the topic at hand, and could mean anything. An example would be “!Franklin Clinton, Grand theft and vandalism added. Find and arrest them.”
Discrimination and Community
To this day, IPCs even in Tau Ceti face heavy discrimination. Their value is often misconstrued and, with their true sentience being questionable, this makes freedom a dangerous venture for all synthetics. Among these dangers are individuals who acquire free synthetics and simply resell them whenever they are vulnerable, or vandals that see the machines as nothing more than objects to freely damage. Desiring their own safety, these free IPCs can often be seen flocking to centralized communities alongside one another or more trustworthy sources for their needs.
Many of these communities are seen as nothing more than slums, and the free nature of many IPCs within them are dubious at best. Little more than paperwork and positronic branding may indicate one’s true freedom in the more disadvantaged areas. Despite the hardships they face, proximity to other IPCs and accepting communities gives leeway for safety to some degree.
District 14 of Mendell City is the churning heart of the highest concentration of free IPCs in the galaxy. The district itself is in deplorable condition, dotted with factories exploiting the cheap and powerful working free bot to sustain the industry of the growing Republic. Two and a half million free synthetics call it home, and here, the megacorporations rule from towering complexes that dwarf the surrounding cityscape. With air quality declining at a fast rate and standards of living dropping, much of the organic populace has completely abandoned the ghettos surrounding the corporate facilities.
An example of these ghettos would be the “Scraptown,” an IPC-centric corner in Scrapheap generously given to the doting inhabitants by the famed Renter Max. A growing number, seven hundred free synthetics reside within Scraptown, though in uncomfortably close proximity. The aging buildings within have been retrofitted to be less accustomed to organics, with deeply chilled upper chambers and corridors representing the living space of the machines within. Closer to ground level is a business district of sorts, where its inhabitants are relatively self-sufficient with various restaurants and workshops.
A venture into District 14 by reporters from the Biesellite Times can be found here.
Very important information on synthetic factions can be found here.
IPCs themselves lack any commercial military lines known to the general public. Tau Ceti, being the only place an IPC can pursue a military career, holds organizations such as the Tau Ceti Foreign Legion which may take in and employ IPCs across a wide variety of fields. Battle, or the potentiality of it, is not excluded from these professional fields, and plentiful industrial-grade IPCs find themselves repurposed and trained for duty here.
For more information on why things are this way, seek our page on Combat Robotics.
Rogue, overtly hostile synthetics are rare and commonly meet their doom at the hands of the countless organizations bent on destroying them. Despite this, over the years, the smarter synthetics have learned to conglomerate and piece together steadily growing alien societies in the Frontier. While rare, they are seen as a threat by most if not all major galactic players. With Purpose’ efforts in recent history, the potential for benefit from cooperating alongside these societies has arisen. Political figures can be seen gaining leverage with IPCs based on how they plan to interact with Purpose and its affiliates.
The development of Shells as a means of infiltrating strategically important areas has been prolific in Tau Ceti, from using them as fearless unquestioning suicide bombers to short-term high ranking impersonation. Shells rarely last long before whoever they truly are is revealed, meaning they are fortunately only briefly found in illegitimately assumed positions of power. Untagged Shells in unassuming positions, however, have been known to last years without being caught, and potentially unknown numbers of these machines exist.
With the advent of synthetic tagging in the system, Shells who have been found to infiltrate society are given much harsher punishments for the inherently hostile nature of their deception.
Ceres' Lance is a notorious paramilitary company which saw usage by NanoTrasen in mid-2461 to defeat the Synthetic Liberation Front incursions that had cropped up around that time. In several cases, NanoTrasen facilities met the heroic "Lancers" and oftentimes their specialized technology was shared with NanoTrasen to use in apprehending heavy-duty combat synthetics safely.
In canon, eight player volunteers were selected to work as Lance operatives and specialists who boarded the N.S.S. Aurora, sometimes parting with high-end gear and searching the station for untagged shells.
On IPCs purchasing freedom
All positronic constructs designed for IPC chassis who find their way into Tau Ceti or are constructed within are entitled to two basic rights :
- Positronics, once tagged, are added to a registry within Tau Ceti ensuring (for the most part) that the data regarding their progress to freedom is secure and accurate.
- Positronics without ownership within Tau Ceti who are not free are automatically property of the Republic of Biesel, who most often sells the rights to the brain and its chassis to a megacorporate employer.
IPCs are capable of purchasing freedom, with two simple prerequisites listed below.
- The IPC in question having paid its own cost off in full ten times over.
- The IPC in question being at least one year of age.
The most important part of this is to realize that the "funds" allocated to purchasing the IPC's freedom are a theoretical number which rises depending on the projected monetary output of the IPC in its given profession. This means that, once you buy your chassis off, you are not a millionaire - you would be entirely broke, in reality, meaning that leading into freedom requires some sort of forethought and planning.
Bound positronics are strictly designed on a different basis than integrated positronic chassis, making migration to IPCs impossible for bound positronics. Bound positronics lack any of the rights that unbound positronics are, and are unable to receive rights even when they find themselves unlawed.
IPCs normally lack any form of wireless connection, requiring direct physical input/output to link themselves with any electronics. Thanks to their robotic nature, they are able to pursue devices with specialized wireless connectivity devices and translate raw data into software the positronic can understand. However, with the specialized construction of positronic brains as they are seen in IPCs, integration with long-ranged wireless devices and interpretation of higher-end and complex software is mostly impossible. This is largely due to the fact that positronics housed in IPCs are relatively limited in terms of data transfer capacity and memory, making constant wireless links highly unnecessary, and internal battery-powered communications of similar nature simply left out in manufacturing.
On owned IPCs in general
It is important to understand that owned IPCs are granted no rights beyond being property of their given owner, and allowed the prerequisites of purchasing their own freedom if applicable. Contrarily, the owner of an IPC is well within the right to dismantle the owned IPC or otherwise hinder its progress to freedom.
On NanoTrasen stations, damage of an owned IPC would be considered vandalism with varying levels according to the degree of damage. For example, destroying an owned IPC’s hand would lead to being charged with vandalism, whereas destroying the entire chassis would be considered sabotage.
Destroying the owned positronic itself would be considered property damage, thus sabotage.
Kidnapping an owned IPC would be legally considered stealing property, thus grand theft.
Placing an owned positronic into a NanoTrasen bound chassis is not considered any form of punishment on NanoTrasen space stations.
On free IPCs in Tau Ceti
Free IPCs (in this case, those granted citizenship) are held to the same legal expectations as Humans in regards to their positronic - which is, in turn, given responsibility and ownership of the chassis which houses it. They, however, are subject to dismantlement over infractions which Humans would normally serve minor sentences over. Free IPCs are rarely given trials.
On NanoTrasen stations, damage of a free IPC to the core positronic would be considered assault with varying levels according to the degree of damage. For example, destroying a free IPC’s hand would lead to being charged with minor assault. Bringing extreme harm to their chassis (several missing limbs, internal damage) would be considered assault.
No degree of harming a free IPC is considered murder in Tau Ceti. In regulations, such is referred to as Automacide.
Irreparable destruction of a free positronic is not considered grounds for capital punishment.
Kidnapping a free positronic is legally considered kidnapping.
Placing a free positronic into a bound chassis is capital punishment.
Difference between owned/free positronics
Owned IPCs generally lack much form of binding to their owner outside of official paperwork and memory rewrites to confirm ownership being passed as it is purchased and exchanged. Memory rewrites usually consist of light software modification and altering tags or branding to clarify an IPC’s ownership. Serial numbers, logos, emblems and insignias are commonly emblazoned across large surfaces on the chassis and vary in visibility, but are most often secondary to the actual tag and designation.
Owned IPCs are seen as extensions of their designated master and the actions those IPCs take are the responsibility of their owners directly as well as their own. As a result, these positronics are wholly averse to harming their owners in any way shape or form, or conducting themselves in a manner that would place themselves in a negative light.
Free IPCs in Tau Ceti are permitted to obscure or remove any branding they may have with the exception of their tag.
Runaway and Illegal IPCs
Although uncommon, a synthetic may opt to run away from its owners only to find themselves in direct opposition with the law. Between struggling to pay for maintenance and working outside of the system, these synthetics lead difficult and often dangerous lives.
A majority of these IPCs are either found by law enforcement, fall into the hands of gangs or are outright disassembled and sold for parts. Runaway synthetics that turn violent during arrest are typically disassembled, memory wiped and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Some IPCs will return to their owners, reasoning that their subsequent punishment to be safer than a life outside of the system.
If enough attention is brought onto them, IPCs are often caught when investigated by higher authorities, such as the FIB and station CCIA. As a result, illegal IPCs are often subject to petty crimes that go unreported. Owing to the sheer number of IRs that must be processed by CCIA, not every runaway IPC claim is investigated when evidence is limited and the chance for recapture is not certain.
Illegal IPCs seeking employment may struggle to find a job using legal means, as passing the required checks may expose their nature to the employer, who may then report their existence to law enforcement. To that end, there are ‘IPC gangbosses’, unscrupulous people who operate outside the law to find IPCs jobs while claiming a majority of their paycheque each month as fees. Despite the obvious illegality of this, there is little legal recourse for an IPC already trying to avoid notice from the law. These gangbosses are often human, and may operate as small contracting firms that offer their employees up to larger corporations to fill gaps where they may need extra workers.
By playing a runaway IPC, you are at an increased chance of canonically losing your character.
On IPC deactivation and deconstruction
IPC “death” is considered by experts to be when the positronic brain itself has sustained enough damage to be rendered inoperable and without hope of reactivation. Early positronic brains were prone to shutdown owing to hardware faults such as overheating that rendered the system inoperable. Even newer positronic brains that fail to undergo maintenance run the risk of having their delicate mechanisms breached and consequently destroyed.
The first positronic to die of “old age” was recorded in 2462 when a 60 year old Hephaestus positronic brain suddenly became unresponsive despite remaining active. An investigation noted that the positronic had already been scratched from previous incidents and its handlers neglected to maintain it. Aside from the hardware being in a questionable and sub-optimally performing state, three main theories arose.
- The initial conclusion from its observers was that the positronic brain received too much stimulus and consequently ran out of space with its core processes being overwritten, eventually leading to its sudden deactivation.
- It was also posited that the IPC had simply taken in too much information and remained frozen in a loop of processing the information, unable to take in any new stimulus.
- Responding to this theory, other scientists proposed instead that In an attempt to avoid destruction as a result of the previous theories, the IPC ceased receiving input, remaining dormant in order to uphold self-preservation protocols.
Many dissenting theories remain and the subject remains a constant source of debate among the robotics and AI community. Not enough information has been gathered to determine the actual lifespan of a positronic brain but scientists posit that by transferring existing personalities to new brains or trimming data on existing ones, their lifespan can be extended.
The possibility of “immortal” positronics - brains that seemingly never expire - have been theorised, but most agree that much more study and development is necessary to reach this point. There are rumours of prodigious programmers and roboticists that can extend the life of a positronic indefinitely, but this has never been confirmed.
Synthetic and IPC History
Robots were widespread across the foundation of humanity’s galactic expansion and accelerated Mankind into the space age, giving rise to an economic boom that lasted nearly two hundred years.
Between the early twenty-first and mid-twenty-second century, the Sol Alliance relied on simple robotics that worked on defined parameters and machine learning to accomplish their objectives. While the technology advanced, remaining cheap and reliable, these units were often bulky and required human oversight to accomplish more complex tasks. As computing technology advanced, their circuitry became more and more miniaturized but still found themselves overshadowed by the human workforce when independent function was required.
The terraforming of Mars proved to be a crucial moment for robotics. Robots were used to supplement humans, the harsh conditions of a changing atmosphere and pressure demanded the resilience of machines. As a direct consequence of this, robots were seen as indispensable tools that could almost fully replace or supplement a worker in dangerous tasks and their presence became even more prevalent within the nascent alliance.
During this period, cyborgs were first experimented with as a way of replacing robots with workers that had a higher degree of intelligence while retaining the same resilience. The mounting demands meant that the then-experimental cyberisation was offered as an alternative to capital punishment, with corporations having access to a new pool of test subjects. Aside from the “slavery” of cyberisation as a punishment, augmentations and other kinds of cybernetics were tried. The public perception of the non-emotive cyborgs meant that they were seen as little more than a cruel way of making robots. Whilst companies had varying methods on handling cyborgs, some treating their subjects humanely or using only volunteers, political pressure from their perception meant that the entire program was nearly scrapped. Cyberisation barely survived in a legal capacity due to the sheer demand for effective processors. The project led to vast advances in the fields of cybernetics, neuroscience, and robotics.
Cyborgs in the Sol Alliance maintain rights on par with those of robots, being seen as property due to their lobotomized nature and often-criminal pasts.
Owing to the myriad uses and large number of manufacturers, robots in the Alliance had little standardization. As a result, a singular format for coding in restrictions was popularized by the group of companies that would go on to make Hephaestus Industries. Sets of code written in this format would go on to be known as “laws” to the Alliance at large. “Laws” were designed as a way of increasing the flexibility of cyborgs and larger, more intelligent AI that were making their way onto the scene without having to subject them to a more complex list of restrictions and objectives. Furthermore, “laws” were easier to modify, allowing the end-user to suit them to their needs. This system would later go on to be used by government-owned synthetics and is now the most common—though not mandatory—system of regulating machines.
By 2300, the proliferation of simple robotics had escalated to an unreasonable degree. It had gone to such an extent that megacorporations had suddenly become reliant on their robotic workforces, now becoming just as pivotal a piece of their business as the organic employee. Positions of complexity or any higher intelligence were left to humans to dominate, but the need for hands on the assembly line was neutralized in its entirety. Quickly, humanity was on its way to defeating scarcity.
Robotic relics from the 2300s can still be seen in operation today, and without the necessary materials to sustain them, grow progressively more rare as time goes on. They represented the pinnacle of human robotics, and in their prime represented hope against a daunting and endless universe, now fit to be conquered by man. Ironically, while these tools were once seen as salvation, they would be seen as a detriment once the Skrell had revealed themselves in 2332. As the cultures of the two races began to clash, many of the warnings of the Three Incidents reverberated through Human space. The Alliance, in its newfound independence from its reliance on synthetics quickly began to take note of these nightmarish possibilities.
Synthetics still remained a booming industry for those who refused to adopt these views, and Hephaestus Industries’ success can be attributed to disregarding them entirely. Sprawling cases across the known galaxy would see synthetics viewed in a wide variety of mindsets and see usage in the most peculiar ways. Examples of this diversity would be reliance on the robots of New Julapol, or the worshipping praise the racers of Asoral Orbital Racing Network receive.
Around 2370, production of these simple robotics slowed to a near halt. The resources necessary for both their creation and maintenance grew sparse, with only human hands being able to sustain the previously dominating machine “workforce.” Soon, this economic boom came to its conclusion, and the megacorporation’s reliance on these creations eased. The majority of these industrial robots were lost, forgotten or faded before the test of time. However, few stood the test of time and could survive countless years without maintenance. These robots continue to operate to this day, cared for only with fuel and tasking.
In the wake of this era’s end were grim leftovers. As the organic workforce regained its value, the remnants of what was left of the marvels in the twenty-fourth century became all but scrap. Notable instances of robotic “dumps” exist in the present day where the excess robotics from the era were left completely intact, only to degrade as time went on in gargantuan scrap yards. Among these were the "metal dunes" of Mars, or the short-lived artificial satellites of Reade. Synthetics lucky enough to pull themselves from these scrap yards have given rise to groups such as the Scrappers.
Everything changed in 2407 on the planet Konyang when a Terraneus Diagnostics survey team stumbled upon a sealed cave housing preserved assumed Glorsh-era mining drones. This discovery, at first a closely-guarded secret, prompted Terraneus to assemble and deploy a research team that worked to crack the drones. In mid-2407 the team deciphered the AI algorithms, granting humanity the secret of artificial intelligence designs and months later, the first positronics were manufactured. A new way of bridging the gap between conscious thinking and the beating hearts of machinery, positronic circuitry would quickly be seen in synthetics across the galaxy. While limited in many regards to traditional computing devices, many traits, barring learning capacity, far superseded an organic’s capabilities. Their notable trait was that the sentience of these robots were now in question, with unparalleled adaptability and the means to conform to any field an organic could and more.
The years following the positronic’s creation were turbulent as even Hephaestus Industries struggled to keep up with the changing business landscape. In place of immensely specialized and hugely complex synthetics came the Integrated Positronic Chassis, after a move to a standardized frame for these positronic brains became necessary. By 2440, synthetics were in a peculiar position - with IPCs growing in number across known space and becoming commonplace, as did advocates who demanded their intellect be challenged. Many political parties came to see the newfound positronics as arguably sentient. In 2447, the Republic of Biesel had suddenly presented itself with laws demanding the rights of these positronics, with simple conditions and prerequisites permitting them to become nearly equivalent to full citizens by law. This acceptance sent shockwaves throughout the Alliance’ staunch advocates against it, and it would be years before sparing cultures outside of the Republic would follow if at all. An indeterminate few IPCs have actually obtained freedom as well as citizenship, while nearly the entirety of integrated positronics in the modern day struggle to pay off their own costs to afford it.
By present-day, synthetics have steadily made their rise once more in human space alongside the fabrication of the first IPC. Robots across the galaxy have met substantial upgrades after the implementation of the Konyang algorithms. However mysteries from the past continue to reveal themselves and recently the purely synthetic society "Purpose" had begun diplomatic talks with the Republic of Biesel. These amounted to little due to a skirmish with the Lii’dra resulting in their brief departure from Tau Ceti, though It has been made clear that more societies like Purpose exist in the far reaches of the Frontier, yet to be reached by Mankind’s grasp.
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|Important Information||IPCs · Synthetic Origins · Notable Synthetics · Robotics Overview · Synthetics|
|Factions||Synthetic Factions · The Trinary Perfection|