Alien Anthology Wiki
Alien Anthology Wiki

Android cutaway from Colonial Marines Technical Manual.

Synthetics, or "artificial persons" - as they prefer to be called, are bio mechanical androids. They are basically robots that are human in appearance.


Although an android's cosmetic appearance would seem to be a superfluous feature, practical experience has shown that most humans are psychologically unable to interrelate with an inhuman-looking android; as a result, the physical appearance and simulated behavior patterns of android units are designed to particular specifications. Their personalities, idiosyncrasies aside, can best be described as passive or non-threatening.

The modern Synthetic is a highly complex machine: stronger, faster and better coordinated than an average human. The basic chassis is a carbon fiber skeleton with latchment points for the artificial musculature. The muscles are vat-grown silicon colloids powered either by pumped micro-hydraulics or electrical stimulation. Power for the android is supplied by a 25 kilowatt power cell with a life of approximately 400 days between recharging. This power cell is located within the android's chest, and access is via a hidden socket located just underneath the rib-cage. Charging time can vary, though it usually takes at least 72 hours to fully charge the standard power cells fitted into modern day androids.

As in a human, the skeletal structure is inherently unstable and is effectively suspended by the musculature. No limb locking, join motorization or gyro-stabilization is present as in other anthropomorphic frames such as power loaders. Instead, the muscles must work actively to keep the chassis standing upright while active feedback systems control its stability. Muscle layout and operation, as with certain other internal function, are homologous with those of the human body. The circulatory fluid is a form of white liquid latex used to lubricate their interior systems.

Despite their advantage in speed and strength over human and their imperviousness to pain, androids are not especially tough. Indeed by comparison they are somewhat fragile. Though the skeletal structure of an android is sturdy, the electronics and fluid musculature are extremely vulnerable to hydrostatic shock and explosive effects from small arms fire. A direct fire to the central processor (located in the head) or power cell will result in immediate deactivation of a unit, though in most cases a partially destroyed android can continue to function, albeit handicapped. In hostile environments, synthetics require similar protection to humans, though they do not require a breathable atmosphere. Corrosive atmospheres will melt them, extreme pressure will squash them flat and hard vacuum will explode them. While they are waterproof, their internal workings are extremely vulnerable to hydro-static shock. An android immersed in water that has been damaged to the point where internal workings are exposed to the risks of being electrocuted.

Those androids designed for close social interaction with humans are able to eat and drink, though they gain no nutrients from anything they consume. Food and drink is broken down in an artificial stomach cavity, and the resulting liquid is expelled via a retractable catheter.

The Synthetic's mind is an integrated Carbon 60 processor with a processing speed of 1015 floating point operations per second. Memory capacity includes 1 terabyte of fast cache buffer RAM and 1.2 Petabyte of non-volatile memory. The system is constructed around a very powerful heuristic logic driver, making decisions based upon imported sensory data, information drawn from experience and the android's vast inbuilt databases. Intuitive functions are derived from a suite of nested contextual and semantic programs linked by self-mapping loops of tangled hierarchies.

However, an android's ability to understand and process abstract concepts and symbolism, though powerful, is limited. A Synthetic mind and personality is essentially a construct, and there is no true self-awareness as such, though this may not be all apparent to an untrained observer interacting with a unit.

Androids display synthesized emotion, superficially register self-awareness and, most importantly of all, have the ability to reason, conceptualize and offer opinion. However, these capabilities do not infer human-like consciousness, even though for all other intents and purposes synthetics are artificial intelligence.