Alien Anthology Wiki
CMTM Android

Android cutaway from Colonial Marines Technical Manual.

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


An android's appearance would seem irrelevant, but practical experience shows most humans to be psychologically unable to interrelate with an nonhuman-looking android; consequently, the physical appearance and simulated behavior patterns of androids are designed to a particular specification. Their personalities, idiosyncrasies aside, may best be described as passive or non-threatening.

The modern Synthetic is a complex machine stronger, faster and better coordinated than an average human. The chassis is a carbon-fiber skeleton with attachment points for the musculature. Its muscles are vat-grown silicon colloids powered either by micro-hydraulics or by electrical stimulation. The android's power comes from a 25 kW power cell with a life of approximately 400 days between recharges. This power cell is located within the android's chest, and is accessed via a hidden socket just below the rib-cage. Charging times vary, but it usually takes at least 72 hours to fully charge standard power cells fitted into modern day androids.

As in a human, the skeletal structure is by itself unstable but is instead suspended by the musculature. Unlike other anthropomorphic frames such as power loaders, an android's chassis has neither limb locking nor joint-motorization nor gyro-stabilization. The muscles instead must work actively to keep the chassis standing upright, and active feedback systems control stability. Muscle layout and operation, as with certain other internal functions, are analogous to those of the human body. The circulatory fluid is a form of white liquid latex used to lubricate their interior systems.

Despite advantages over humans in speed and strength, and imperviousness to pain, androids are not especially tough; by comparison they are somewhat fragile. Though the skeletal structure is sturdy, its electronics and fluid musculature are extremely vulnerable to hydro-static shock and to explosive effects from small-arms fire. Damage to the central processor in the head or power cell in the chest will cause immediate deactivation; however, in most cases, a partially destroyed android may continue to function, albeit handicapped. In hostile environments, synthetics require similar protection to humans; however, they do not require breathable atmosphere. Corrosive atmosphere 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 risks electrocution.

Androids designed for close social interaction with humans are able to eat and drink though 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 powerful heuristic logic driver that makes decisions based upon 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.

An android's ability to understand and process abstract concepts and symbolism, though powerful, is limited. Its synthetic mind and personality is essentially a construct; it has no true self-awareness as such, but this may not be apparent to an untrained observer in interactions.

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.