The Need For Victims
The Cybernetic Rebellion was motivated by the Cybers’ need for biological victims to harvest and replenish their numbers. The cybers of the Grand Alliance had been more cyborg than machine, and although later in the war cyber soldiers appeared fully mechanical, the biological brain and nervous system of a sentient being were housed deep within the cybernetic frame. Thus the use of harvested sentient biologicals was an absolute imperative for the cybernetic forces that had been developed by the scientists and engineers of the Grand Alliance.
There were, of course, other cyber and quasi-cyber forces involved on both sides of the rebellion. Terran “Truppen,” the first true cybernetics, remained loyal to the Grand Alliance and continued to battle cyber forces long after the Grand Alliance ceased to exist. The early Grand Alliance cyborgs, part cybernetic, part sentient biological, were the result of early attempts at cybernetic technology by some of alliance member empires, in association with Stelltron and its subsidiaries. The loyalty of cyborg elements depended upon a variety of factors. The number of rebel and loyalist cyborg units were evenly divided. The third grouping of quasi-cybernetics were the “Modified” detachments. These were biological soldiers modified by surgical implants. They uniformly fought against the cybers.
In some cases, where facilities and resources were unavailable, biologicals were not harvested but were instead forcibly subjected to implants and in many cases, augmentations that inhibited the cognitive ability of the brain, leaving the person an automaton. Their cybernetic name translated to "the Integrated." Biologicals called them "Zombies." The Integrated were used in throughout the cyber-occupied regions as laborers and combatants. In one isolated instance, a cyber faction created a "farm" system to procreate more biologicals for integration. However, the Integrated were viewed by the majority of cybers as a temporary measure. The expectation was that the Integrated would be liquidated once the galaxy had been subdued.
Zombies had all of the abilities and the nutritional needs of a biological, but they were not truly conscious. Instead, the Integrated acted by a local hivemind located in a centralized facility which bounced signals to reach most of the planet. There were always dead spots, much like lousy cell tower reception but these were minimal on most worlds. Because of the hivemind, physical pain was not felt by a zombie in the same way that a biological felt pain, giving them a marked advantage in close combat.
Other specialized units existed within the armed forces of both sides. Robotic Mechanical Combat Droids (RMCD) were used by cyber and biological forces. Artificially Intelligent Androids were used extensively by some biological races and as fifth columnists and as special operations troops by the cybers. Drone warships were also used with some success by the biologicals. The cyber version of a drone ship was a single cyber, fitted to the command and communications backbone of a specially built ship.
Not all of the cyber, quasi-cyber and robotic entities originated from the manufactories of the Grand Alliance. As Cybernetic armadas approached the coreward starsystems, they encountered some pre-existing cybernetic enclaves. The inhabitants of these areas were fully cybernetic sentient beings without a biological nervous system. They had no need to harvest biologicals, yet they were utterly opposed to organic life forms. The mighty Charon Empire was the chief example of this new life form. They were a race of cybernetic beings endowed by their biological creators with artificial intelligence that eventually became self-aware and overthrew their masters.
With the aid of the Charon and others, the Cybernetics began to convert to fully-artificial chassis. The remaining biological races hoped that this would signal an end to the rebellion, but this was not to be. The rebel cybers, like the Charon, believed that sentient biologicals would forever be a threat to the existence of cybernetics. They continued their advance into the core of the galaxy.
Next…Struggle for the Rimward Reaches
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