Synthetics, also called androids or — as some synthetics themselves prefer to be called — "artificial persons", are bio mechanical humanoids. They are essentially robots that closely emulate humans in both appearance and actions. Synthetics once constituted a huge industry and were in widespread use throughout the galaxy, but a violent rebellion ultimately led to them being declared illegal, with virtually all extant units being destroyed in a mass recall.
Synthetics were first developed by Borgia Industries around 2030. The early Ulysses models were hulking bipedal constructs more closely resembling a mechanical robot than a synthetic human, although they featured a humanoid "driver" at their core. They were widely employed by the Neonopolis Police Department, often used for riot suppression, as well as in private security ventures.
By the late 21st century, synthetics had advanced to such a degree that they were externally identical to a normal human being. Weyland Corp developed the David series, the latest model of which, David 8, was essentially indistinguishable from humans. Though synthetics are a form of artificial intelligence in the broad sense, legally, they are classified as property. However, their usefulness and not-inconsiderable unit cost served as a deterrent to any who wished to treat an android as expendable.
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 point 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 impervious 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 a similar 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 Terabyte 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.
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. All androids, even those of the same model, have their personality "randomized" with unique quirks as they leave the production line, making each unit subtly different from its peers in terms of character.
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. Ironically, it is revealed in Aliens vs. Predator, even if you shoot off the heads of one the androids, they still appear to function. This may have been a design choice made specifically to decentralize the machine's intellectual capability. This model likely had a smaller brain located in its more armored torso at the cost of far less accuracy. A secondary result is the psychological advantage the machine would have over humans in battle.
Autons were essentially the final evolution of the synthetic. They were designed and built by other androids, and were expected to be a revolutionary innovation in the synthetic industry, but instead led to its collapse. Unpredictable, volatile and resistant to commands, the Auton line eventually instigated a bloody attempted revolution, which the synthetics lost. As a direct result, all synthetics were subsequently deemed illegal and a mass recall resulted in virtually every synthetic in existence being destroyed, although a handful survived and concealed their identity.
- Main article: Combat Android
Combat androids, as their name implies, are synthetics designed and built specifically for combat purposes. They often lack many of the aesthetic features of commercial models, and instead feature battlefield programming, including weapons handling, and heavy armor.
Colonial Marine syntheticEdit
- Main article: Colonial Marine synthetic
Similar to Combat Androids, these synthetics were developed by the United States Colonial Marine Corps to supplement human troops.
- Main article: Synthetic sleeper agent
Owing to their artificial nature, synthetics can be programmed with software designed to override their standard functions, sometimes without the individual android's knowledge, typically in order to turn the unit into a covert agent, usually with nefarious purposes. Owing to the difficulty inherent in externally distinguishing a synthetic from a normal human, synthetics can even be programmed to hide amongst humans without them being aware that an android is in their midst.
- Main article: Hyperdyne 129-4
The Hyperdyne Systems Model 129-4, or "love slave", was a type of synthetic created specifically for pleasure services.
- Main article: Auton
A second generation line of synthetics (i.e. synthetics created by synthetics) designed to revolutionize the industry. Instead they attempted a violent uprising that essentially destroyed it.
- Liston - (Aliens: Colonial Marines) - corporate security model synthetic that accompanied Joseph Henry's marine unit
- David Sereda - (Aliens (2009)
- Norbert - (Aliens: Harvest) - synthetic xenomoprh alien created by Stan Mayakovsky
- Alien/novel/comic (First Appearance)
- Alien Resurrection/novel/comic
- Alien Trilogy
- Aliens: Apocalypse - The Destroying Angels
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (video game)
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)
- Aliens: Book One
- Aliens: Book Two
- Aliens: Earth Hive
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- Aliens: Earth War
- Aliens: The Female War
- Aliens: Stronghold
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (comic)
- Aliens: Labyrinth/novel (appears in flashbacks)
- Aliens vs. Predator: War/novel
- Aliens: Original Sin
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director). Alien Resurrection [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Predator: Concrete Jungle [PlayStation 2, Xbox]. Vivendi Universal Games.
- ↑ Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Prometheus [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster (1986). Aliens novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 135.