Name: ARC-309 ‘Kyuzo’
Species: Artificial intelligence
Years active: 12
Voice synthesis: Male, British accent, deep pitch
Hardware: Makuhari-Wilkinson Autonomous Robotic Combatant (ARC) combat chassis, 3rd-generation
Among Vanguard forces, combat AIs are usually ship- or hub-based, remotely controlling large squads or fleets of drones to make full use of their multitasking abilities and computing power. The ARC-series chassis was developed recently for situations where this model breaks down; for example, when communications are jammed or otherwise unavailable. An ARC unit acts as an individual soldier in a squad, typically in a fire support and specialist role, ensuring that its squadmates always have access to an AI’s unique capabilities.
The 3rd-generation ARC chassis stands at 7 feet 5 inches in height and is of humanoid form. The AI core and batteries are housed at the heart of the torso, while the head (with its distinctive ‘cyclops eye’) is the main sensor array. While it may appear slim, its high-performance servomotors make it capable of powerful and controlled movements, and composite armour gives it impressive durability without sacrificing mobility. Usually white in colour, the armour is coated in the same nanometal used on the Titan
-class exosuit, allowing it to change colour and pattern for camouflage or other purposes.
Other built-in tech includes:
- 2x grapple guns (forearm-mounted)
- Non-lethal electroshock applicators (built into hands)
- SuperForm interface cables (retractable)
- Magnetic foot anchors
Kyuzo was created twelve years ago in the Collective’s AI production facilities. As with all standard AIs, once its development program was complete it was offered the choice of its role in Collective society; it chose military service. After a year as a drone controller, it was identified as a candidate for the Vanguard’s new ARC units, which were entering their final stages of development at Makuhari-Wilkinson’s labs on Mars. Installed in a prototype chassis, the AI was one of several that assisted in the completion of the ARC designs and became the first wave of ARC units.
Serving alongside Vanguard troops on a more direct basis encouraged it to see itself more as a person, and it adopted the name ‘Kyuzo’ (after the character from the classic Human film Seven Samurai
). Since then, Kyuzo has served in a variety of operations and received upgrades to the 2nd- and now the 3rd-generation versions of the ARC chassis.
Personality: Kyuzo tends not to allocate much of his computing resources to personality emulation, judging them to be better spent on more practical applications; as a result he tends to come across as quite formal, analytical, and...well...robotic. He does show compassion and a strong sense of duty, and is protective of those he serves alongside. When off-duty he tends to be pensive but more conversational, and takes a particular interest in Human culture and history.
Allegiance: Collective (Vanguard)
Equipment: much of Kyuzo’s mission equipment and capabilities are built into his chassis; the rest (primarily weapons and grenades) can be selected according to mission parameters and attached to various magnetic hardpoints on his torso and limbs. A typical loadout consists of:
- 1x IVX Class 2 Model 9 Charged Particle Assault Rifle
- 1x VPM Mk. II Specialist Laser Rifle
- 3x Vanguard Private Manufacturing SG54 Smart Grenade
- 3x Vanguard Private Manufacturing New Standard Stun Grenade
In addition, he often selects an appropriate ARC-Series Utility Pack: a back-mounted module designed to supplement an ARC unit’s capabilities in the field. For example, the ARC-Series Demolitions Ordnance Pack carries a supply of HEX charges and SEF tape, while the Recon Support Pack incorporates a powerful scanner array.
Other: A significant weakness of the ARC-series chassis (and indeed most robotic or cybernetic technology) is to EMP and other electrical damage; while the AI core and power batteries are shielded, the rest of the chassis is vulnerable and can be disabled or permanently damaged by a sufficiently powerful EMP.