Post feature RSS DR1 Series

This is a second Galactic Council Race description.

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Overview


A semi-sentient race of automated relics left over from an extinct galactic power, the DR_1 Series is among the most unique of the Galactic Council members. Apart from the influence of the Bentusi, who long ago saved them from being hunted down by the member races, their only directives are to mine, repair, build and self-protect. Though their original designs featured no weaponry of any kind, the DR_1 have demonstrated capacity for devising and implementing weaponry by scavenging their unlucky attackers. And with each drone ship serving as a mindless executor of their base programming, they are by no means hesitant to use themselves as suicidal projectiles should the need arise. Their full capability in battle remains unknown, and most, even in the Council, are less than anxious to find out. For the most part they remain a dormant asset of the Council, ever ready for the desperate hour when the members decide that they must be called on...

History

In the prime of galactic warfare before the formation of the Council, there existed a space-faring race known as the Vorituur. They were a powerful and respected galactic nation but had no taste for war, and avoided involvement in conflict wherever possible. They were well-liked by the Bentusi and became fascinated by the concept of improving themselves synthetically after several years of contact with the Unbound traders. However, they found that to create a cohesive link between the mind and a computer was difficult at best. They spared no effort to bridge the gap, developing computers which emulated the functions of the brain, hoping that this line of research would make full interface attainable. Many avenues of research proved unyielding, but not necessarily fruitless. One particular model of computer from early on in the research process, the DR1, was founded in rather ingeniously simple adaptive coding, and the model was put into mass production as a retrofitted control unit for autonomous space craft, particularly deep space mining vessels. Fearing the dangers of raiding parties sent throughout the galaxy by barbaric races to whom hyperspace technology had trickled-down after years of unregulated and illegal trade, the Vorituur much preferred to conduct their mining using expendable drones, rather than put their own people at risk. The DR1 was so competent at conducting efficient, inconspicuous mining operations wherever they were deployed that their production soared and the Vorituur became quite prosperous. The drones carrying the DR1 operating system were so small and self-sufficient that the Vorituur found they could deploy them almost anywhere without drawing the attention of bandits. And so they began to conduct mining operations far beyond their own borders, seeing no possible consequences. This proved to be their undoing.
Another galactic nation of the time, the Taiidan, was the first to notice this covert mining. They immediately became suspicious of the Vorituur once they were able to trace the operations back to them, and their fear only deepened as they found more and more instances of these small mining parties littered throughout dense asteroid belts. They were convinced that the Vorituur were intentionally masking their activities in order to secretly build a massive invasion force that they would use to seize power even as the other galactic nations fought amongst themselves. And thus the Taiidan decided that the need to act was pressing. They were previously engaged in their own conflict, but managed to contract the Lizaanj to eradicate the Vorituur threat. The Lizaanj, prone to using their promised bounty to invest in procuring more and more sophisticated weapons, went a step further than the Taiidan had asked or wished. Within a few months the Lizaanj had pressed their way to the Vorituur homeworld. They didn't find the sort of mass armada that the Taiidan had suspected they would, but nonetheless they intended to finish the job. Testing a new weapons technology on the Vorituur homeworld, the Lizaanj inadvertently extinguished their entire population with a compound that ignited atmospheric gases. The devastation was much greater than they had anticipated, and they were immediately panicked over what the Bentusi might do were they to discover the Lizaanj's accountability for this genocide. The Taiidan were furious over the Lizaanj's short-sighted blunder, but agreed to help cover-up any evidence linking them to the disaster, knowing that were the Bentusi to discover that they had hired the Lizaanj to strike the Vorituur, things would be as bad or worse for them.
The Bentusi were devastated to learn of the extermination of the Vorituur. But to the Taiidan's credit, they were never able to discover who the responsible party was, or why such an atrocity had been brought on a peaceful people. The best the Bentusi could do was to make illegal any use of the compound that had incinerated the Vorituur atmosphere. All seemed lost, but unbeknownst to the Bentusi, a fragment of the Vorituur remained.
The DR1s continued as any machine would in the absence of their masters-- as if nothing had happened. At least, at first, until the unavoidable fact that the resources they were collecting were not being picked up anymore. This measly change in the status quo was enough to short-circuit the vast majority of the DR1 mining parties. But as stated, the DR1 AI was something truly remarkable among adaptable programs. One DR1 detachment successfully altered their own programming in light of the change, beginning to store-up the stash of resources by making replicas of themselves and, more notably, the mining station where their RU's were gathered. These replicas began to become numerous, and each new module was attached to the original structure, until their once unimpressive station had become a massive obelisk. Unwittingly, though, by building this megalith the DR1's had sacrificed their low profile, and rendered themselves an obvious target for raiding.
Inevitably the raid that would define the DR1 Series came along. A group of space pirates happened into sensor range of their great obelisk and, finding it unguarded by living crews or combat-AI's, they went in for the prize. The DR1's were not programmed to deal with enemy attacks; because these groups were so efficient and managed to more than pay for themselves after only a short time in use, the Vorituur had never looked into a means of giving the Series a self-preservation directive. But as the pirates launched their attacks and the DR1's became aware that their ability to perpetuate their objective was in jeopardy, their already-expanded programming began writing itself into an exponentially larger code. Within minutes of the initial attack, the DR1's began using their mining equipment to rend tears in the hulls of enemy ships, and even resulted to kamikaze runs to preserve the station, through which all of their collective programs were regulated. The pirates quickly rethought and pulled-out before any more of their ships fell victim to the disgruntled drones. The weapons on their fallen ships fell pray to the technological repertoire of the DR1's, as they salvaged what they could to more effectively protect themselves in the future. A great evolution in the DR1 programming had transpired that day.
It was not long before word of this megalithic station full of resources and guarded by suicidal drones spread far and wide. It became a legend among pirates, and it was soon an ongoing boast by the accomplished raiders of the galaxy that one day they would find and successfully pillage this station. Eventually the Bentusi became aware of this, as even more parties tried and continually failed to raid the DR1 megastation. They decided to discover the nature of this new emergence, wondering if they would find a new song to remember. What they found was the echo of a song that had long since gone out of the universe.
The Bentusi were amazed that something so unique still remained of the departed Vorituur civilization. But the initial encounter was more eventful than pleasant pondering. The DR1's, having classified all organic beings as threats to their program, prepared themselves to attack. But the Bentusi did not wish to annihilate these seemingly self-aware drones, who to them seemed to be perhaps the child-state of a more perfect form of life-- one Unbound by their very nature. As a peace offering, the Bentusi offered the DR1's all of the RU's that they had with them. The DR1's, more perceptive than they had once been, were able to see that the Bentusi wished to help them fulfill their programming and accepted their company. For years the Bentusi continued to have contact with the DR1's, researching their programming, and helping them to build a more refined awareness of the universe. Eventually the Bentusi granted them the best gift they had to offer-- hyperspace travel.
Even as the DR1's expanded, other galactic nations took notice and began to fear that the Bentusi may have sown the seed that would eventually bring about the total infestation of these machines. But the Bentusi assured the suspicious peoples that the DR1's understood and respected the boundaries of the organic beings. By this time the Galactic Council had begun to take shape. Still skeptical, they planned to put to vote whether or not these drones should be extinguished before they could grow unchecked. The Bentusi were desperate to prevent this, but unwilling and even unable to go against the rule of the Council they themselves had started. They devised another plan. In a an uncharacteristically devious move, but one brought on by desperation, the Bentusi convinced the DR1's to allow them to dock with their megastation. Once tied-in to the base, they forcibly hacked the DR1 source code and appended to their programming instructions that would recognize the member races of the Galactic Council as the Vorituur, thus slaving the DR1's to the purposes of the Council by means of their oldest directive. In order to preserve the drones the Bentusi openly admitted to these activities in Council, and the members, though shocked by the Bentusi's actions, accepted the situation and allowed the DR1's to serve as an auxiliary GC force. Still distrusting of the steadily-expanding drones, they've been kept under watchful eye ever since. The DR1's have continue to mine the outer limits of the galaxy, remaining ever-ready to serve any whim of the Galactic Council.


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