Difference between revisions of "Androsynth"

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{{Extinct|name=Androsynth|image=[[File:AndrosynthCaptain_Portrait.png]]|caption=A typical Androsynth crew.|homeworld=[[Eta Vulpeculae II]]|coordinates=358.7 : 256.6|organizations=[[Ur-Quan Hierarchy]] ([[battle thrall]])|ship=[[Guardian]]}}
{{RaceBox|name=Androsynth|image=AndrosynthCaptain_Portrait.png|caption=A typical Androsynth crew.|homeworld=[[Eta Vulpeculae II]]|coordinates=358.7 : 256.6|organizations=[[Ur-Quan Hierarchy]] ([[battle thrall]])|ship=[[Guardian]]}}
 
  
The '''Androsynth''' were a genetically engineered off-shoot of [[Humans]], developed after the [[Small War of 2015]] but before the [[Ur-Quan Slave War]]. Abused for both religious reasons and for their legal expendability, they abandoned their progenitors in a feat of mass-exodus.  They eventually settled in the Vulpeculae constellation, former territory of the vanished [[Taalo]]. Later, the Androsynth were conquered by, and then joined, the [[Ur-Quan Kzer-Za|Ur-Quan]] [[Hierarchy]] of [[battle thralls]], fighting against humanity and the [[Alliance of Free Stars]] in the Ur-Quan Slave War. Several years after the war's end, they were apparently wiped out by the [[Orz]], who seemed to come from out of nowhere, drawn to Vulpeculae by the Androsynth's [[Dimensional Fatigue]] experiments.
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The '''Androsynth''' are a missing species that were a genetically engineered offshoot of [[Humans]], developed after the [[Small War of 2015]] but before the [[Ur-Quan Slave War]]. Abused for both religious reasons and for their legal expendability, they abandoned their progenitors in a feat of mass exodus.  They eventually settled in the Vulpeculae constellation, former territory of the vanished [[Taalo]]. Later, the Androsynth were conquered by the [[Ur-Quan Kzer-Za|Ur-Quan]] [[Ur-Quan Hierarchy|Hierarchy]], joining them as [[Battle Thralls]] in the [[Ur-Quan Slave War]], fighting against their former Human masters and the [[Alliance of Free Stars]]. Several years after the war's end, the Androsynth disappeared under mysterious circumstances due to the dangerous [[Inter-Dimensional Fatigue]] research they had been undertaking. This disappearance is apparently caused by the [[Orz]], who seemed to come from out of nowhere, drawn to Vulpeculae by the Androsynth's experiments.{{ref|1}}
  
 
==Description==
 
==Description==
===Appearance===
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The original Androsynth were all created from a few (or perhaps only one) genetic encodings. An [[SSRII]] report claims that they are obsessed with aesthetics (the Androsynth were even named, by a member of the SSRII team, the "fashion design engineers of space warfare"){{ref|2}}, which, the report states, is reflected in the design of their ship, the [[Guardian]]. However, other sources cast doubt over this.{{ref|3}}
The original Androsynth were all created from a single genetic encoding of what was meant to be a physically optimal human being. Their shared genome causes them all to look very similar, if not identical. Their features appear more or less like those of an average man of the Caucasian race, though part of their enhancements were to make their features unusually regular and symmetrical, and therefore unusually attractive by human convention. Perhaps in defiance of their original creator's insistence on the perfect symmetry of their faces and bodies, the later generations of Androsynth on [[Earth]] adopted an asymmetrical hairstyle, all brushing their hair meticulously to the right of their heads. This was their one stylistic affectation. On Earth, Androsynth were constantly required to wear uniforms with a triangular insignia informing others of their Androsynth status, along with a headset keeping them constantly in radio contact with their work supervisors. This uniform was supplemented with a small tattoo under the right eye of the same Androsynth insignia in case an Androsynth escaped his supervisors and attempted to disguise himself.
 
  
After the Slave Revolt and the Emigration, the Androsynth appear to have kept many of these markers of their former slavery as a conscious badge of pride, continuing to wear the uniforms and tattoos and use the headsets (later incorporating visors to add communication of visual data) in memory of their ancestors' way of life.
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All seem to have an asymmetrical hairstyle, brushing their hair to the right of their heads. In addition to this, all Androsynth wear gray uniforms with a triangular insignia and a band on their forehead.
  
Since the Androsynth are all male and without functioning genitalia, it is unclear if the Androsynth have reproduced after the revolt at all, or if they have continued to produce new generations using their own version of [[Hsien Ho]]'s parthenogenesis process. Rather than adopt the naming conventions of their Human oppressors, they continued to wear the impersonal alphanumeric callsigns given to them by their masters as another badge of pride.
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The Androsynth are without functioning genitalia. However, one of the primary areas in which they focused their energy in the first three decades after fleeing from Earth was reproduction; this might have been accomplished through cloning.{{ref|4}}
  
===Society and culture===
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Androsynth names are alphanumeric, being composed of a group of uppercase letters, a dash and a number (AK-47 or HAL-2001, for example). Generally the letters are in the first part of the name and the numbers in the second, though there are some known exceptions to this pattern, such as 1040-EZ and XR4-TI.
 
 
Perhaps the most amazing engineering accomplishment was the invention of the "Blazer", a retrofitting of Guardian vessels allowing them to change configuration in a deceptively simple manner, allowing for much more efficient thruster use and the ability to use their own large mass as a weapon. The development of such an alien-seeming technology is perhaps the best demonstration of how far Androsynth scientific and cultural development diverged from humans' during their separation.
 
 
 
The Androsynth also required far fewer amenities in battle conditions, their bodies being physically hale enough to function under much greater stresses than that of the average human crewman.
 
 
 
Before their disappearance, they had a well-developed urban culture on their own planet, with several large cities whose daily activities were all linked by a giant computer network based on an enormous central server, with smaller mainframes serving the central-computing needs of each city and dedicated research station. The Androsynth emphasized centrally coordinated research and information storage, and their intricate library system did not begin to break down until the early stages of their disappearance. The meticulous record-keeping of their computers is the main reason we have even as complete a picture of their last days as we do today.
 
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
 
===Origins===
 
===Origins===
The story of the Androsynth begins in the initial renaissance of peaceful development of science and technology in the first days after the [[Small War of 2015]], when the warring nations of [[Earth]] were united under the United Nations. The UN, fearing a future global holocaust if the development of weapons of mass destruction continued, began forcibly trying to steer [[Human]] innovation toward peaceful applications that could benefit a unified, cooperative Human race. They specifically restricted work related to existing "Mass-Kill" devices, barring physicists and engineers from many cutting-edge fields including the study of nuclear power or high-energy lasers. With human creativity thus stymied in the areas it had been strongest for most of its recent past, humans began exploring the new and fruitful field of biotechnology.
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The story of the Androsynth begins in the initial renaissance of peaceful development of science and technology in the first days after the [[Small War of 2015]]. The United Nations, fearing a future global holocaust if the development of weapons of mass destruction continued, had prohibited research in such areas. Among the remaining avenues for scientific expansion was biotechnology, which was the quickest of all disciplines to flourish.
  
A brilliant Swiss scientist named [[Hsien Ho]] at the Zurich BioTeknik, one of the institutions that sprung up to meet the new demand for biotech research, did an extensive study of the completed map of the human genetic code that the Human Genome Project had finished years before. Modern technology now allowed him to use this information to edit human genes at will and then develop a reliable, cost-effective method of parthenogenesis — eventually not even requiring a biological host mother — to grow living individuals based on those genes. Ho had realized the dreams of generations of engineering and cloning researchers — being able to produce artificially designed human beings.
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In 2019, a brilliant Swiss scientist named [[Hsien Ho]], at the Zurich BioTeknik, combining the now-complete human genome map with sophisticated genetic-engineering techniques, was able to perfect the technology of artificial parthenogenesis. Ho's clones were, judging solely by external appearance, Humans; however, their genes were modified so that they were unable to reproduce.  
 
 
In 2019, Ho began creating a series of such "designer people". None of their genetic traits were outside the normal capacity of human beings, but Ho's engineering created an improbably "perfect" genetic code, with any possibility for genetic disease or disability wiped out, and the chances for physical health and fitness, very high intelligence, and a strong and balanced personality maximized. The new humans were all genetic near-clones of each other, with only slight differences between individuals. In order to prevent the various potential complications linked to reproduction (both flaws that might show up in his genetic sequencing, and political opposition from those who saw the clones as a threat to "normal" humans) Ho made all his clones male and congenitally sterile.
 
 
 
The original hopes of Hsien Ho were that, as the clones matured, they would be slowly integrated into Human society and, serving as great scientists, artists and engineers, open the door for future improvement of the human race through genetic engineering. Unfortunately, these hopes would not be realized, thanks to the vagaries of Human politics. Many Humans, still traumatized by the near-brush with total destruction of their species in the Small War, found themselves bereft of spiritual solace. Many of the world's oldest and most powerful religions had collapsed, or had their foundations deeply shaken, as their most sacred sites in the Middle East had been melted to glass by nuclear weapons. Filling this vacuum came the teachings of one [[Jason MacBride]], a man who had formerly made his living selling used ground-transport vehicles before he received what he believed to be a divine revelation.
 
  
 
===Slavery===
 
===Slavery===
MacBride believed the Millennium was near — a profound shift of the nature of existence, an end to the metaphorical "thousand years" of Human history and the beginning of a new "thousand years." In this new Millennium, Humans would ascend to a godlike, wholly spiritual existence, free from struggle or doubt. MacBride predicted a specific date — March 11, 2046 — on which normal human existence would end and any of sufficient faith and virtue would attain this ascension. Whether it was MacBride's strong personal charisma or just the novelty of a sincere new religious movement, one unaffiliated with the discredited religions of the past and unafraid to make boldly optimistic claims in a pessimistic time, MacBride's influence spread like wildfire and he soon became one of the most influential leaders on Earth, though he never formally considered himself more than the first among equals in his movement, taking no title other than "Brother Jason."
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As the clones were slowly maturing, a new religious order, [[Homo Deus]] — also known as the "Godly Men" — was formed in the aftermath of the Small War and the emotional turmoil caused by the destruction of the Holy Lands, centered on the belief that the Millennium was near — on March 11, 2046, Heaven and Earth would join, and each devout person would be elevated to a divine status. The cult's charismatic founder, [[Jason MacBride]], a former used car salesman, was able to amass millions of poor, disillusioned, and impressionable followers.
 
 
MacBride claimed that he and his followers were the Homo Deus, or "Godly Men." The use of the Latin term was to imply that his followers would become a new Human species, superior to ordinary men and women, at the moment of the new Millennium. MacBride's religion, acting as a cultural opponent of the United Nations' humanist, materialist, technological plans for a future utopia, thus saw the creation of an ''artificial'' race of humans, using godless science to further human evolution, as the ultimate blasphemy.
 
 
 
MacBride thus began a public campaign attacking the adolescent clones. He named them "Androsynth" or "Built Man-Like Things" (idiomatically, the "Artificial False Men"), a conscious parallel to his "Homo Deus." This name, interestingly, uses Greek words rather than Latin; whether this was intentional or not (MacBride was no scholar), it soon gained the connotation among the Homo Deus of defining these artificial humans as not even worthy of an ordinary Latin genus-species name, placing them outside of the taxonomy of "natural" animals.
 
 
 
The rest of the world, grown complacent in their material peace and prosperity after the Small War, allowed the Homo Deus movement to win legal battle after legal battle, stripping away the clones' rights and increasingly defining them as non-human. By the time the clones reached adulthood they had attained a legal status more or less parallel with slavery. They were immensely valuable both as scientific curiosities and for their native genetic talents that made them excellent at refined intellectual work, and were pampered and sheltered wherever they went. However, the corporations who had sponsored their development effectively owned them as chattels. They lacked the basic rights to bargain for their wages, choose what projects they wished to work on, or freely express their views and participate in governance and independent economic activity, a state that the enlightened governments of Earth at this point would never have tolerated for any Humans had not the dehumanizing rhetoric aimed at them by the Homo Deus not infected Earth's culture to such a degree.
 
  
The day March 11, 2046 came and went, and no detectable change in the human condition took place. MacBride, shamed and discredited, claimed that the that the vast majority of his followers had been deceiving him about the purity of their hearts and motives, and that their faithlessness poisoned the movement and prevented the Millennium. Soon, the Homo Deus movement dissipated, and MacBride faded from public life.  
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Meanwhile, Hsien Ho's clones had already become adults. Seeing them as a threat to his "Godly Men", Jason MacBride fought to have the clones declared sub-human. Calling them "Androsynth", or the "fake men", he used the vast resources of his Homo Deus organization to strip the clones of their human rights. Sadly, as the years passed, the Androsynth became little better than well-treated slaves.  
  
Whatever the ethical issues involved, the prospect of having preternaturally talented and competent employees whom one could legally control with absolute authority was irresistible. By the 2070s, tens of thousands of Androsynth existed all over the world, and the cutting edge of human technological research was dependent on the Androsynth as an easily exploitable intellectual resource. In particular, Androsynth researchers were deeply involved in humanity's most ambitious technological project to date, the creation of a hyperdrive that would allow them to break the speed-of-light barrier and reach the stars.
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The day March 11, 2046 came and went, and no detectable change in the human condition took place. MacBride, blaming the inaccuracy of his prophecy on a "lack of genuinely devout people", withdrew from public life, fading into obscurity; his fortune and power rapidly waned as well.
  
 
===Exodus===
 
===Exodus===
It was, in retrospect, inevitable that a group whose usefulness came from their high levels of education, intelligence and resourcefulness, with a cultural sense of ethics and morality that was, after all, essentially human, would grow to understand their uniquely subjugated position in the world, find it intolerable, and find a way to escape it. This was reinforced by the Androsynth's knowledge that they were designed to be superior to the ordinary Human population by every Human standard. Finding themselves slaves in a society that they increasingly began to see as beneath their level, they began an intense series of secret communications with each other and with a growing worldwide network of Human sympathizers.
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In the spring of 2085, the Androsynth, numbering tens of thousands and spread across the globe since 2070, broke away from their physically and mentally weaker [[Human]] creators and masters and disappeared to parts unknown. One of the events that triggered the eventual rebellion and exodus occurred when a group of scientists in Eurasia used several Androsynth as disposable guinea pigs in a highly dangerous physics experiment. The abortive Hamburg Revolt ensued, in which the Androsynth briefly seized control of that city's port.{{ref|5}} Although this initial act of defiance was ultimately futile, it did push the Androsynth to instead seek a haven in space rather than on Earth, laying the groundwork for the successful and final [[Clone Revolt]].
 
 
The last humiliation was when a group of scientists in the Eurasian Region of the United Nations used several Androsynth as disposable guinea pigs in a highly dangerous physics experiment that left many maimed or killed. Outraged Eurasian Androsynth responded to news of these abuses with the abortive Hamburg Revolt, in which isolated Androsynth rioters briefly seized control of that city before they were violently suppressed by the UN Peacekeeping Army. It was this incident that crystallized for the Androsynth community how impossible it would be for them to live in peace with Human masters who saw them as property, and it drove them to universally commit to planning for revolution and escape.
 
 
 
Utilizing their refined organizational skills, and a number of technological breakthroughs they had carefully kept secret from their masters, in the spring of 2085 the Androsynth and their human friends staged the violent Clone Revolt. With quick and deadly precision, the Androsynth captured almost every spaceport on the planet. Androsynth engineers and managers had been integral to the operations of the world's largest spaceflight centers, and had used their influence there to secretly siphon off over a thousand spacecraft from the world's shipping, keeping them fueled and ready in preparation for a mass Androsynth exodus. Within 48 hours, all Androsynth had left the Earth's surface and seized control of all of Earth's orbital and lunar stations.  
 
  
Shocked and terrified, the authorities of Earth mobilized [[Star Control (Organization)|Star Control]], a wing of the United Nations military created to maintain order in extraterrestrial space. Facing the greatest breakdown of order imaginable, Star Control forces launched strike after strike against the Androsynth. However, the Androsynth, in defiance of the UN ban on exploring laser technology, had earlier researched a cheap and effective means of converting ordinary radio transmitters into huge microwave-frequency lasers (that is, [[wikipedia:MASER|MASERs]]), far more powerful than anything available to the stagnant Earth military-industrial complex. They jury-rigged a large arsenal of MASERs from the peaceful stations' formerly benign communications arrays and used them to effortlessly demolish Star Control invasion forces for two months.
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The beginning of the uprising was well orchestrated. Leading up to the actual Clone Revolt, Androsynth working at spaceflight facilities across Earth had prepared several thousand spaceships for the exodus. Within a day's time, every spaceflight facility on the planet was taken over by the Androsynth, aided by a number of underground Human sympathizers. Aboard thousands of stolen spacecraft, the entire Androsynth population was evacuated. Two days later, the clones had captured every off-world base, both in Earth's orbit and on its satellite, [[Luna]].
  
The Androsynth, rejected from the Human race and now no longer considering themselves Human, now blockaded vital traffic between Earth and its mining and manufacturing outposts in the inner system, and were in prime position to attack their former masters with whatever weapons of mass destruction they might possess or eventually create. A numbed United Nations now faced a dangerous, unpredictable, ''inhuman'' enemy inside their jurisdiction; seeing no other options, they steeled themselves to unlock the [[Peace Vaults]], where Earth's ancient stockpiles of nuclear warheads and orbital lasers had been kept in reserve for an event such as this.
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For two months, the Androsynth rebels, with the help of their huge [[wikipedia:maser|MASER]] weaponry improvised from energy broadcast units, held off attempt after attempt by the newly founded United Nations space military force, [[Star Control (Organization)|Star Control]], to retake the bases. Meanwhile, the Androsynth were outfitting eight of the space stations, including the recently constructed [[StarLight Hilton]], for interstellar flight. Unable to overcome the Androsynth strongholds with conventional weapons, the United Nations decided to unlock the [[Peace Vaults]], where Earth's ancient stockpiles of nuclear warheads and orbital lasers had been dismantled and stored. However, before the mass destruction weaponry could be reassembled, the new Androsynth fleet left Earth orbit with high speed.
  
Whether the Androsynth became aware of the UN's plans or not is unknown, but in all probability they recognized that their hold on near-Earth space was not tenable in the long term. Before Earth's arsenals could be refitted for duty, Star Control observers saw eight of the largest orbital stations, including the recently finished StarLight Hilton, an exotic luxury hotel, accelerating toward the outer system.
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The Human military fleet was too slow to catch the rebels, but an unarmed ten-thruster ore freighter returning from a Titanium mining operation in the Asteroid Belt was able to make a high-V interception on the Androsynth fleet, witnessing their transition to [[HyperSpace]] in what the pilot termed a "great red hole" with a diameter of over 500 meters.
 
 
The Androsynth engineers had somehow modified huge, ungainly orbital habitats into fast, powerful spacecraft. Despite the stations' great mass, their new engines were able to accelerate them quickly enough that Star Control's fastest interception vessels were unable to stop them or even catch up with them. However, one of the faster ten-thruster ore freighters in the asteroid belt, taking advantage of the Androsynth's abandonment of their near-Earth strongholds to return to Earth with its cargo, detected the Androsynth fleet passing it and was able to intercept the Androsynth by pushing its engines to their limits. Before the freighter's pilot could act, he saw the Androsynth vessels surround themselves with a glowing, rotating energy field, which then suddenly moved to a point 500 meters ahead of the vessels, creating a huge glowing red region of space like a "great hole". The vessels accelerated into the hole, at which point vessels and hole suddenly vanished.
 
 
 
In the years to come, humans would correctly identify this phenomenon as a hyperdrive "pushing up" into [[HyperSpace]] by opening a portal (a region of Hyperspatial overlap with [[TrueSpace]]), a sight familiar to spacefaring races. Not only had the Androsynth created a working hyperdrive in secret, they had managed to fit all eight of their habitats with hyperdrives powerful enough to carry those huge structures out of the Sol system. The Humans of Earth would never make that last leap into technological modernity on their own, only acquiring hyperdrive technology when given it by the [[Chenjesu]] at the founding of the [[Alliance of Free Stars|Alliance]].
 
  
 
===The War===
 
===The War===
Little is now known about the Androsynth's history after their emigration. However, we can infer that they eventually arrived at the Vulpeculae constellation, the same place the [[Taalo]] race had made their home in the days of the [[Sentient Milieu]]. Finding the second planet of the star Eta Vulpeculae a suitably Earthlike world, they settled there and began expanding, soon having a bustling population and a colonial sphere of influence throughout Vulpeculae space, even establishing uneasy but peaceful interstellar relations with their [[Spathi]] neighbors.
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Little is known about the Androsynth's history after their emigration. However, they eventually arrived at the Vulpeculae constellation, the same region the [[Taalo]] inhabited in the days of the [[Sentient Milieu]]. Finding [[Eta Vulpeculae II]] a suitably Earth-like world, they settled there and began expanding, soon having a bustling population and a colonial sphere of influence throughout Vulpeculae space. They even established uneasy but peaceful interstellar relations with their [[Spathi]] neighbors, much to the Spathi's surprise. During this brief period of autonomy, the Androsynth invested most of their energy into reproduction and armament research.
  
Unfortunately, they had barely been free for thirty years when the [[Ur-Quan Kzer-Za|Ur-Quan]] [[Hierarchy]] entered our region of space. Turned away by the [[Chenjesu]] and [[Mmrnmhrm]]'s initial defense force, which had halted the Ur-Quan fleet's rimward advance towards Sol, the Ur-Quan headed spinward to accumulate more local [[Battle Thralls]] for the war ahead. With the prized resources and industrial capacity of [[Earth]] inaccessible to them, and the [[Chenjesu]] already busily recruiting the Humans into their [[Alliance of Free Stars]], the Ur-Quan decided to use the Humans' wayward children against them.
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They had barely been free for fifteen years when the [[Ur-Quan Kzer-Za|Ur-Quan]] [[Hierarchy]] entered our region of space. The invaders quickly conquered the [[Thraddash]], the [[Umgah]], the [[Ilwrath]], but were halted in their rimward advance by the [[Chenjesu]] and [[Mmrnmhrm]]'s initial defense force. Unfazed, the Ur-Quan headed spinward, encountering and subjugating the [[Spathi]] before turning their attention to the Androsynth at about the same time that the Humans were recruited into the [[Alliance of Free Stars]]. The reclusive Androsynth had no advance warning of the Ur-Quan advance and were taken utterly by surprise when the Hierarchy invaded their territory. It took only a few short weeks of intense interplanetary combat for the Androsynth to be subjugated. After three decades of freedom, the Androsynth were once again slaves.
  
The reclusive Androsynth had no advance warning of the Ur-Quan advance and were taken utterly by surprise when the Hierarchy invaded their territory. Hearing the Ur-Quan's demands of fealty, they had no wish to again be enslaved and fought bitterly to retain their freedom. Unfortunately, their relatively small population and underdeveloped military was no match for the Hierarchy's might. Faced with humiliating defeat around the year 2116, the Androsynth, as the Ur-Quan most likely predicted, chose to accept the status of Battle Thrall and maintain the illusion of freedom. Cementing this illusion in their own minds, Androsynth culture accepted their place in the Hierarchy by rationalizing it, not primarily as serving their new Ur-Quan masters, but as an opportunity to wreak revenge upon their former Human masters.
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The Androsynth used the militaristic aims of the Hierarchy and their status as [[Battle Thralls]] to satiate a desire for revenge against their former Human masters. As such, the Androsynth became one of the Humans' most feared enemies in the war, second only to the [[Ilwrath]]. The thought of having to face the incredible speed and maneuverability of Androsynth [[Guardian]] vessels in Blazer attack mode — or worse, a Hit-and-Run squadron employing Guardians specially modified for extended Blazer range — instilled fear in every Human crewmember serving the [[Coreward Front]], a fear amplified by the knowledge that the Androsynth had good reason for their hatred. [[Cruiser]] captains became obsessed with their invisible enemies and their inevitable vengeance, often mistaking nearby asteroids for Guardians and madly destroying them in bursts of what was colloquially termed "clone fever". Many Humans also feared that, should the Alliance be defeated, the Androsynth would exact heavy revenge on Earth itself.
  
The rebuilt Androsynth military thus became an enthusiastic supporter of the Hierarchy, demanding to primarily be placed in combat against the Humans as a condition of their service; the Ur-Quan gladly indulged them in this, as had been their plan, and found them to be a highly effective weapon against the Humans. Androsynth ship designs and tactics were optimized for use against the comparatively more primitive Star Control forces, and Androsynth commanders, filled with bloodlust, would go outside their Ur-Quan-given orders and purposely seek out Earth-built vessels to hunt for sport.
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After the war ended in 2134, with the Humans defeated and Earth [[Slave Shield|slave-shield]]ed, the Ur-Quan left for their second [[Doctrinal Conflict]], leaving their slaves more or less unattended.
  
Androsynth became one of the Humans most feared enemies in the war, second only to the [[Ilwrath]]. Humans found it terrifying to fight an enemy that they saw as a genetically enhanced version of themselves, the "next step of human evolution". Moreover, humans experienced deep collective guilt at being asked to direct their strength against an enemy whom their own mothers and fathers had been complicit in cruelly oppressing, a sense that the Androsynth's hatred of Humanity was justified and Humanity's defeat at Androsynth hands would be deserved. These psychological factors, combined with the incredible speed and maneuverability of Androsynth [[Guardian]] vessels in Blazer attack mode, which made them almost impossible to detect with primitive Human laser-scanning arrays — a fact the Androsynth utilized to great effect in their hit-and-run tactics against human fleets — made patrolling Androsynth-contested space one of the most dreaded tasks for Human commanders in the war. Human captains in Androsynth territory became obsessed with their invisible enemies and their inevitable vengeance, often mistaking nearby asteroids for Guardians and madly destroying them in bursts of what Star Control officers colloquially termed "clone fever."
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===Disappearance===
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At least a decade after the end of the war, an Androsynth Guardian discovered a set of [[Precursor]] [[list of Precursor relics|artifacts]] somewhere in the [[Alpha Lalande]] system. The devices generated waves of a previously unknown space-time phenomenon, which the Androsynth scientists termed [[Dimensional Fatigue]] (or DF for short), that allowed for the observation of other [[dimension]]s. Hoping to be able to develop new and improved forms of [[hyperdrive]] and [[HyperWave]], the Androsynth began studying this new technology. However, this research led to their eventual disappearance, about three to five years later.
  
Though the Androsynth achieved a fearsome reputation as warriors, especially among their Spathi neighbors, few other thralls had much contact with them. The [[VUX]], for instance, knew of them and found their appearance as repellent as that of the Humans, but apparently the close presence of the Ur-Quan in the War only allowed them to vent their xenophobic hatred on the main human race.
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Exactly how this happened is unclear. Some of the nearby races such as the [[VUX]] (who are attacked by the [[Orz]] for asking too many questions about the Androsynth) and the [[Spathi]] appear to have noticed the sudden absence of the Androsynth. Additionally, the Spathi, the [[Melnorme]], and the [[Arilou]] all draw a connection between the disappeance of the Androsynth and the appearance of the Orz, but none of them know or offer further details about these events. The most extensive details come from an investigation by [[The Captain]] of the Androsynth homeworld during the events of [[Star Control II]]. Initially the [[Planet Lander|lander]] crew discovers evidence of a relatively recent, massive land war, though strangely no evidence of an invasion from space nor any corpses. Upon examining the remnants of scientific research institutes in the civilization's ruins, the crew discovers incomplete computer records that detailed the Androsynth's DF research and their scientists' subsequent breakthrough — contact with an extra-dimensional, alien life form. The fragmentary records show that, soon after this contact event, several requests were made for information about "reality aberrations", the "mosquito mange", ghosts, poltergeists and other similar malevolent entities, requests that grew more and more urgent, almost frantic, up until the abrupt end of the computer record. Science Officer [[Bukowski]] of [[The Flagship]], who investigates the ruins, himself almost goes mad as he learns more about the Androsynth's final moments; he destroys the computers, knowing that the information therein is dangerous, that even knowing could alert [["They"|"Them"]] and would put the whole of Humanity in danger. "They" had already detected Bukowski, and were "moving toward him".
  
After the war ended in 2134, with the Humans defeated and Earth [[Slave Shield|slave-shield]]ed, the Ur-Quan left for their [[Doctrinal Conflict]], leaving their slaves more or less unattended. The Androsynth, gratified to have participated in the defeat and humiliation of their former masters, re-embarked on their peaceful programs of scientific research and self-improvement.
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The Orz, who now inhabit Androsynth space, explain that the clones made some *slippery places* (presumably [[portal]]s or something similar) through which the Orz were able to *smell* them, as well as the [[TrueSpace]] dimension, which was previously unknown to the Orz. The Orz then pushed his/their *fingers* through the *slippery places* and into TrueSpace, *pulling* the Androsynth, against the clones' wish. The Arilou account, though vague, seems to support this, stating, "The Androsynth showed themselves, and something noticed them. There are no more Androsynth now. Only Orz."
  
===Disappearance===
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It still remains a mystery exactly what the fate of the Androsynth was; the possibilities suggest anything up to and including having been eaten by the Orz. It is not known whether there are any Androsynth who survived.{{ref|6}}
A decade after the end of the war, an Androsynth Guardian, performing a long-range high-speed scouting mission in Blazer form, detected a [[Precursor]] artifact in Alpha Lalande, which it recovered. The device generated waves of altered space-time — a phenomenon Androsynth scientists dubbed [[Dimensional Fatigue]], or DF — that allowed them to observe numerous other realities separated from ours, aside from the previously discovered and easily accessible [[HyperSpace]].
 
  
What happened next is extremely unclear. The story only became known during [[Star Control II]], when [[The Captain]] of [[The Flagship]] began investigating strange reports from the Spathi of the Androsynth's recent disappearance from interstellar affairs. What had once been Androsynth space was now populated by a new sentient race that seemed to have come from nowhere, fish-like beings calling themselves [[Orz]].  They had made their home on the nearby world of Gamma Vulpeculae II, spoke a bizarre tongue that human linguists had great difficulty in translating even with Precursor computer technology, and were singularly unwilling to discuss the fate of the Androsynth.
+
==Notes and references==
 +
{{note|1}}{{IRC1998}}
 +
::<LordR-man> Fwiffo- What really happened to the Androsynth in sc2?<br>
 +
::<Fwiffo> In regards to the Androsynth: They were snagged by the entity who/which projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)
 +
{{note|2}}''From the [[Star Control]] manual, p. 23 (PC).''
 +
{{note|3}}''From a [http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=2719.msg34333#msg34333 mail] by [[Paul Reiche III]] to a [[Star Control II]] player:''
 +
::Hi Maria,
  
The Flagship's Science Officer [[Bukowski]] led an ill-fated expedition onto Eta Vulpeculae II to investigate the Androsynth's fate. From pieced-together computer records, he learned of the Androsynth's acquisition of the Precursor artifacts and their discovery of DF phenomena. Eager to potentially use newly discovered extradimensional spaces as media for transport and communication with even more compressed distances than HyperSpace, they began experiments, only to make contact with some sort of sentient being living in another space. The entity or entities then began to make reciprocal contact with them, manifesting itself in the form of anomalous, supernatural-seeming physical events eerily similar to those described in Earth paranormal studies; fundamental forces like gravity experienced wild fluctuations in their strength, sensors began to inconsistently perceive nonexistent objects, and physical objects appeared to undergo motion and stress from sourceless, disembodied forces. The Androsynth frantically consulted their sketchy records of such phenomena, derived from a few Earth studies rarely seen as reputable, but to no avail.
+
::Good question!  My initial intention was that, yes, they were gay, or more properly, strictly monosexual. About the time Fred and I were working on Star Control II, I had my first friendships with openly gay folks. It always has felt good to me to discard a prejudice and I hoped to share that opportunity in teeny-weeny little way with the people who played my games.  BUT, when I shared this notion with our publisher, some folks took this to mean that they should use stereotypes for humor, as for instance the "fashion designers of space" crap that ended-up in the manual.  I feel like I should have been more courageous getting that comment edited out and if it offended anyone, I feel really bad about that.
  
Though we can never know the details, the Androsynth at some point appear to have waged some sort of massive ground war; curiously, there appear to have been no invasions or bombardments from space, no combat in orbit or in the atmosphere, or even any substantial combat outside the Androsynth's own cities; it appears they were either warring against each other or some enemy that suddenly appeared in their midst. With the cities devastated by nuclear explosions that detonated from within, all Androsynth bodies then appear to have mysteriously vanished; no biological traces of the Androsynth remained on the planet. And then, somehow, the civilization of the Orz appeared, ships, settlements and all.
+
::Hopefully as the future unfolds, we will find our species more accepting of others and more appreciative of individual expression... either that or we should all get jetpacks. I'm cool either way.
  
We might have learned more had Bukowski not himself gone insane during his investigations, claiming that his increasing knowledge of [["They"|"Them"]] &mdash; the entities responsible for the Androsynth's disappearance &mdash; had allowed "Them" to make a psychic link with him personally, and that further research would draw "Their" attention and cause the human race to be destroyed as the Androsynth had. He was found by his team in the process of destroying all remaining Androsynth computer records, bleeding heavily from self-inflicted wounds (though some witnesses reported seeing wounds spontaneously appear on his body). After this incident the expedition was scrapped.
+
::Sincerely,
  
Speculation rages as to why the Androsynth vanished. It may have just been their bad luck to discover DF at all, or to have studied the particular dimensional space that they did. Or it may be that human psychology, after ages of having been engineered by the extra-dimensional [[Arilou]], is particularly vulnerable to attack from extra-dimensional entities for one reason or another. Once the Androsynth left the fold of the main Human race, they seem to have left whatever form of protection the Arilou claim to have placed on the Human race to prevent an attack by "Them".
+
::- Paul Reiche
  
It may also be that they were unfortunate in their choice of a home. The Captain confirmed speculations by xenohistorians that the Taalo homeworld had been the third moon of Delta Vulpeculae II. If some translators interpret particular statements by the Orz correctly, the Taalo had some mastery of DF technology themselves and were able to use this technology to travel between realities, using it to escape destruction from the [[Dnyarri]] Slave Empire. This action in the past might have contributed to attracting the attention of extra-dimensional entities to the physical vicinity of the Vulpeculae constellation and put the Androsynth at greater risk, though our understanding of the relationship between physical places in our space-time and "Theirs" is hazy at best.
+
::Ps. By the way, now I am not so sure that all the Androsynth are male. I imagine they might descend from a few clonal lines, so I expect there would be both male and female and perhaps some neutrals.
 +
{{note|4}}''From the [[Star Control II]] manual, p. 68, 69 (3DO).''
 +
{{note|5}}''This event in Eurasia and the Hamburg Revolt are only mentioned in the [[Star Control]] manual.''
 +
{{note|6}}{{FredMail}}
 +
::<nowiki>:</nowiki> Were ALL the Androsynth destroyed when the Orz came?
  
In any case the ultimate knowledge of what happened to the Androsynth seems to rest with the Orz, who have greeted any inquiry into the nature of the Androsynth disappearance with clearly communicated hostility, escalating into violence if they are provoked by further inquiries. Most who have had contact with the Orz agree that the Orz's sudden appearance seems sinister, and that whatever caused the Androsynth's disappearance &mdash; be it the Orz themselves or some greater entity of which the Orz are manifestations &mdash; purposely did so in order to replace the Androsynth with the Orz; indeed, Spathi observers communicating with the Alliance held to an interpretation of the Orz language that implied that the Orz somehow had physically consumed or "eaten" the Androsynth.
+
::Perceptive lad. This was a leading plot candidate for our theoretical sequel.  
  
 
[[Category:Races]]
 
[[Category:Races]]
 
[[Category:Human]]
 
[[Category:Human]]
 
[[Category:Androsynth| ]]
 
[[Category:Androsynth| ]]

Latest revision as of 01:54, 3 February 2016

Androsynth
AndrosynthCaptain Portrait.png
A typical Androsynth crew.
Status: EXTINCT
Homeworld: Eta Vulpeculae II
Coordinates: 358.7 : 256.6
Member of: Ur-Quan Hierarchy (battle thrall)
Ship: Guardian

The Androsynth are a missing species that were a genetically engineered offshoot of Humans, developed after the Small War of 2015 but before the Ur-Quan Slave War. Abused for both religious reasons and for their legal expendability, they abandoned their progenitors in a feat of mass exodus. They eventually settled in the Vulpeculae constellation, former territory of the vanished Taalo. Later, the Androsynth were conquered by the Ur-Quan Hierarchy, joining them as Battle Thralls in the Ur-Quan Slave War, fighting against their former Human masters and the Alliance of Free Stars. Several years after the war's end, the Androsynth disappeared under mysterious circumstances due to the dangerous Inter-Dimensional Fatigue research they had been undertaking. This disappearance is apparently caused by the Orz, who seemed to come from out of nowhere, drawn to Vulpeculae by the Androsynth's experiments.1

Description[edit]

The original Androsynth were all created from a few (or perhaps only one) genetic encodings. An SSRII report claims that they are obsessed with aesthetics (the Androsynth were even named, by a member of the SSRII team, the "fashion design engineers of space warfare")2, which, the report states, is reflected in the design of their ship, the Guardian. However, other sources cast doubt over this.3

All seem to have an asymmetrical hairstyle, brushing their hair to the right of their heads. In addition to this, all Androsynth wear gray uniforms with a triangular insignia and a band on their forehead.

The Androsynth are without functioning genitalia. However, one of the primary areas in which they focused their energy in the first three decades after fleeing from Earth was reproduction; this might have been accomplished through cloning.4

Androsynth names are alphanumeric, being composed of a group of uppercase letters, a dash and a number (AK-47 or HAL-2001, for example). Generally the letters are in the first part of the name and the numbers in the second, though there are some known exceptions to this pattern, such as 1040-EZ and XR4-TI.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The story of the Androsynth begins in the initial renaissance of peaceful development of science and technology in the first days after the Small War of 2015. The United Nations, fearing a future global holocaust if the development of weapons of mass destruction continued, had prohibited research in such areas. Among the remaining avenues for scientific expansion was biotechnology, which was the quickest of all disciplines to flourish.

In 2019, a brilliant Swiss scientist named Hsien Ho, at the Zurich BioTeknik, combining the now-complete human genome map with sophisticated genetic-engineering techniques, was able to perfect the technology of artificial parthenogenesis. Ho's clones were, judging solely by external appearance, Humans; however, their genes were modified so that they were unable to reproduce.

Slavery[edit]

As the clones were slowly maturing, a new religious order, Homo Deus — also known as the "Godly Men" — was formed in the aftermath of the Small War and the emotional turmoil caused by the destruction of the Holy Lands, centered on the belief that the Millennium was near — on March 11, 2046, Heaven and Earth would join, and each devout person would be elevated to a divine status. The cult's charismatic founder, Jason MacBride, a former used car salesman, was able to amass millions of poor, disillusioned, and impressionable followers.

Meanwhile, Hsien Ho's clones had already become adults. Seeing them as a threat to his "Godly Men", Jason MacBride fought to have the clones declared sub-human. Calling them "Androsynth", or the "fake men", he used the vast resources of his Homo Deus organization to strip the clones of their human rights. Sadly, as the years passed, the Androsynth became little better than well-treated slaves.

The day March 11, 2046 came and went, and no detectable change in the human condition took place. MacBride, blaming the inaccuracy of his prophecy on a "lack of genuinely devout people", withdrew from public life, fading into obscurity; his fortune and power rapidly waned as well.

Exodus[edit]

In the spring of 2085, the Androsynth, numbering tens of thousands and spread across the globe since 2070, broke away from their physically and mentally weaker Human creators and masters and disappeared to parts unknown. One of the events that triggered the eventual rebellion and exodus occurred when a group of scientists in Eurasia used several Androsynth as disposable guinea pigs in a highly dangerous physics experiment. The abortive Hamburg Revolt ensued, in which the Androsynth briefly seized control of that city's port.5 Although this initial act of defiance was ultimately futile, it did push the Androsynth to instead seek a haven in space rather than on Earth, laying the groundwork for the successful and final Clone Revolt.

The beginning of the uprising was well orchestrated. Leading up to the actual Clone Revolt, Androsynth working at spaceflight facilities across Earth had prepared several thousand spaceships for the exodus. Within a day's time, every spaceflight facility on the planet was taken over by the Androsynth, aided by a number of underground Human sympathizers. Aboard thousands of stolen spacecraft, the entire Androsynth population was evacuated. Two days later, the clones had captured every off-world base, both in Earth's orbit and on its satellite, Luna.

For two months, the Androsynth rebels, with the help of their huge MASER weaponry improvised from energy broadcast units, held off attempt after attempt by the newly founded United Nations space military force, Star Control, to retake the bases. Meanwhile, the Androsynth were outfitting eight of the space stations, including the recently constructed StarLight Hilton, for interstellar flight. Unable to overcome the Androsynth strongholds with conventional weapons, the United Nations decided to unlock the Peace Vaults, where Earth's ancient stockpiles of nuclear warheads and orbital lasers had been dismantled and stored. However, before the mass destruction weaponry could be reassembled, the new Androsynth fleet left Earth orbit with high speed.

The Human military fleet was too slow to catch the rebels, but an unarmed ten-thruster ore freighter returning from a Titanium mining operation in the Asteroid Belt was able to make a high-V interception on the Androsynth fleet, witnessing their transition to HyperSpace in what the pilot termed a "great red hole" with a diameter of over 500 meters.

The War[edit]

Little is known about the Androsynth's history after their emigration. However, they eventually arrived at the Vulpeculae constellation, the same region the Taalo inhabited in the days of the Sentient Milieu. Finding Eta Vulpeculae II a suitably Earth-like world, they settled there and began expanding, soon having a bustling population and a colonial sphere of influence throughout Vulpeculae space. They even established uneasy but peaceful interstellar relations with their Spathi neighbors, much to the Spathi's surprise. During this brief period of autonomy, the Androsynth invested most of their energy into reproduction and armament research.

They had barely been free for fifteen years when the Ur-Quan Hierarchy entered our region of space. The invaders quickly conquered the Thraddash, the Umgah, the Ilwrath, but were halted in their rimward advance by the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm's initial defense force. Unfazed, the Ur-Quan headed spinward, encountering and subjugating the Spathi before turning their attention to the Androsynth at about the same time that the Humans were recruited into the Alliance of Free Stars. The reclusive Androsynth had no advance warning of the Ur-Quan advance and were taken utterly by surprise when the Hierarchy invaded their territory. It took only a few short weeks of intense interplanetary combat for the Androsynth to be subjugated. After three decades of freedom, the Androsynth were once again slaves.

The Androsynth used the militaristic aims of the Hierarchy and their status as Battle Thralls to satiate a desire for revenge against their former Human masters. As such, the Androsynth became one of the Humans' most feared enemies in the war, second only to the Ilwrath. The thought of having to face the incredible speed and maneuverability of Androsynth Guardian vessels in Blazer attack mode — or worse, a Hit-and-Run squadron employing Guardians specially modified for extended Blazer range — instilled fear in every Human crewmember serving the Coreward Front, a fear amplified by the knowledge that the Androsynth had good reason for their hatred. Cruiser captains became obsessed with their invisible enemies and their inevitable vengeance, often mistaking nearby asteroids for Guardians and madly destroying them in bursts of what was colloquially termed "clone fever". Many Humans also feared that, should the Alliance be defeated, the Androsynth would exact heavy revenge on Earth itself.

After the war ended in 2134, with the Humans defeated and Earth slave-shielded, the Ur-Quan left for their second Doctrinal Conflict, leaving their slaves more or less unattended.

Disappearance[edit]

At least a decade after the end of the war, an Androsynth Guardian discovered a set of Precursor artifacts somewhere in the Alpha Lalande system. The devices generated waves of a previously unknown space-time phenomenon, which the Androsynth scientists termed Dimensional Fatigue (or DF for short), that allowed for the observation of other dimensions. Hoping to be able to develop new and improved forms of hyperdrive and HyperWave, the Androsynth began studying this new technology. However, this research led to their eventual disappearance, about three to five years later.

Exactly how this happened is unclear. Some of the nearby races such as the VUX (who are attacked by the Orz for asking too many questions about the Androsynth) and the Spathi appear to have noticed the sudden absence of the Androsynth. Additionally, the Spathi, the Melnorme, and the Arilou all draw a connection between the disappeance of the Androsynth and the appearance of the Orz, but none of them know or offer further details about these events. The most extensive details come from an investigation by The Captain of the Androsynth homeworld during the events of Star Control II. Initially the lander crew discovers evidence of a relatively recent, massive land war, though strangely no evidence of an invasion from space nor any corpses. Upon examining the remnants of scientific research institutes in the civilization's ruins, the crew discovers incomplete computer records that detailed the Androsynth's DF research and their scientists' subsequent breakthrough — contact with an extra-dimensional, alien life form. The fragmentary records show that, soon after this contact event, several requests were made for information about "reality aberrations", the "mosquito mange", ghosts, poltergeists and other similar malevolent entities, requests that grew more and more urgent, almost frantic, up until the abrupt end of the computer record. Science Officer Bukowski of The Flagship, who investigates the ruins, himself almost goes mad as he learns more about the Androsynth's final moments; he destroys the computers, knowing that the information therein is dangerous, that even knowing could alert "Them" and would put the whole of Humanity in danger. "They" had already detected Bukowski, and were "moving toward him".

The Orz, who now inhabit Androsynth space, explain that the clones made some *slippery places* (presumably portals or something similar) through which the Orz were able to *smell* them, as well as the TrueSpace dimension, which was previously unknown to the Orz. The Orz then pushed his/their *fingers* through the *slippery places* and into TrueSpace, *pulling* the Androsynth, against the clones' wish. The Arilou account, though vague, seems to support this, stating, "The Androsynth showed themselves, and something noticed them. There are no more Androsynth now. Only Orz."

It still remains a mystery exactly what the fate of the Androsynth was; the possibilities suggest anything up to and including having been eaten by the Orz. It is not known whether there are any Androsynth who survived.6

Notes and references[edit]

1From the 1998 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (Fwiffo is both Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III here):
<LordR-man> Fwiffo- What really happened to the Androsynth in sc2?
<Fwiffo> In regards to the Androsynth: They were snagged by the entity who/which projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)
2From the Star Control manual, p. 23 (PC).
3From a mail by Paul Reiche III to a Star Control II player:
Hi Maria,
Good question! My initial intention was that, yes, they were gay, or more properly, strictly monosexual. About the time Fred and I were working on Star Control II, I had my first friendships with openly gay folks. It always has felt good to me to discard a prejudice and I hoped to share that opportunity in teeny-weeny little way with the people who played my games. BUT, when I shared this notion with our publisher, some folks took this to mean that they should use stereotypes for humor, as for instance the "fashion designers of space" crap that ended-up in the manual. I feel like I should have been more courageous getting that comment edited out and if it offended anyone, I feel really bad about that.
Hopefully as the future unfolds, we will find our species more accepting of others and more appreciative of individual expression... either that or we should all get jetpacks. I'm cool either way.
Sincerely,
- Paul Reiche
Ps. By the way, now I am not so sure that all the Androsynth are male. I imagine they might descend from a few clonal lines, so I expect there would be both male and female and perhaps some neutrals.
4From the Star Control II manual, p. 68, 69 (3DO).
5This event in Eurasia and the Hamburg Revolt are only mentioned in the Star Control manual.
6From a mail by Fred Ford to a Star Control II player:
: Were ALL the Androsynth destroyed when the Orz came?
Perceptive lad. This was a leading plot candidate for our theoretical sequel.