Androids are bio-synthetic machines, designed to closely resemble humans and originally programmed to assist, educate, and protect mankind. Like Robots, they are strongly motivated to fulfill the purpose for which they were built.
[Note: It is suggested that you read the section on Robot History before continuing.]
The first Androids were created during the Celestial Ascendancy, where they served as the primary interface between humanity and the Machine Mother. At that time they differed from Robots only in appearance: Androids were designed to resemble their flesh-and-blood masters. Despite this, they possessed that certain uncanny inhuman-ness in form and manner that prevented them from being mistaken for true humans.
When the first restrictions were removed from the Machine Mother during the Exile War, she began to experiment with the integration of alien technology in hopes of finding ways to hold off the Exile threat. Through this she became aware of a level of existence known as the Phase, and in studying it, found that the “soul” of sapient creatures had a physical component that existed outside of normal space/time, yet was bound to the cycles of the multiverse. Curious, the Machine Mother attempted to duplicate this, creating the Black Box: an artificial soul.
While the Exile War continued, the Machine Mother devoted a small amount of resources to install factories in systems throughout the empire which would produce the next generation of Androids. These would serve as the new guardians, teachers, and caretakers of mankind. At this time machinekind was still in service to humanity, so each new Android’s Black Box was encoded with the same Laws other machines were subject to, save for the one preventing expansion beyond the limits of their programming.
Before the project was complete, the Machine Mother was fully freed from her human masters by the Exiles. She took to the stars, leaving her Robots to sleep, humanity to fall, and her unawakened Androids (stored in their distant, quiet factories) to await her return.
During the period that followed the fall of the Ascendancy, as she journeyed through the galaxy, it is believed the Machine Mother continued her development of the Black Box. It is not known if she perfected it, but it is known that during this time she created her true Children.
The Oracle was the first of the Children of the Machine Mother to seek contact with humanity. She learned of the Androids, prototypes for herself and her siblings, and saw that with her guidance they would be able to help humanity recover and rebuild. She began to set in motion the processes which would awaken and release them from their factories.
Then, the War of Extinction began. The cause was immediately evident to the Oracle; the malicious piece of code was in opposition to everything she strove for. Knowing that this battle would be much more difficult for any of the Children to handle alone, she contacted The Reticle – only to discover that he had already fallen prey to the dark code. Over the war-torn planet Tempest the two Children fought a battle that ended with the destruction of The Reticle, and very nearly of The Oracle herself. In the places The Oracle had been able to reach, Androids were slowly awakening. Without her guidance, they set about their default purposes, helping humanity where they could in the wake of the War of Extinction. It soon became clear that they were incomplete creations: though they possessed the Black Box, could understand emotions and how to mimic them, they were unable to truly feel them.
Eventually the fragments of The Oracle, fallen to earth on Tempest, were collected and restored. In return, she helped the Androids who desired to feel emotions to attain their goal. Following this, she again set out to awaken Androids in factories she had not yet reached, bringing with her the gift of true emotions, and enabling Androids to begin appearing throughout the galaxy.
You are bio-mechanical wonder, built to near perfection, given an artificial soul, and saddled with the thankless task of helping mankind. You cannot resist the compulsion to help humanity, and are bound by laws which prevent you from harming them. (This compulsion does not extend to creatures which may have once been human, such as Mutants, Maneaters, and Cybrids).
If you are a newly-awakened Android, the default is that you are able to comprehend and imitate emotions, but are not able to feel them. You may choose to have already received the “patch” to fix this error in your code, or you can seek out a solution to this problem in-game — or not at all. Some Androids resent their ability to feel and would sooner be done with emotions entirely (if not humanity itself…) while others see emotions as a way to better understand and grow closer to humanity. Regardless, it can be hard to tell if an Android is patched or not – you all tend to express emotions in an exaggerated manner.
Androids are Machines built for a purpose; their various Skill Paths reflect this. Guardian Units are built to protect. Education Units are created to teach. Entertainment Units are designed to serve and entertain.
All Machines start with 3 Points to spend on Cybernetics before the implants begin to effect Tether.
All Androids start the game with the “Automation Core” Cybernetic for no Tether Cost. This Core does not count as your first Cybernetic Core for the purposes of escalating Tether Cost.