When the Androsynth departed Earth en masse in 2085 during the Clone Revolt, no Human had ever imagined that one could take to the stars at faster-than-light speed. Clever, cunning, and imaginative, the Androsynth outwitted their human creators at every turn by keeping low-key until an opportunity presented itself. In retrospect, it should have been no surprise that the pride of their space fleet, the dumpy little blue pod known as the Guardian, would hide something a bit more sinister inside its modest packaging, the sight of one quickly becoming the ultimate fear of all mankind.
Speed and control
In its normal configuration, the Guardian is far from the fastest ship around, but it can still beat the pants off an Intruder. With its turning rated slightly below average and its acceleration only slightly above, the "wow!" factor of this ship is dismal.
However, in Blazer form, the "wow!" factor soars higher in the sky than an Ur-Quan-imposed slave starbase. Speed? Faster than God! Turning? On the edge of a dime! Acceleration to full speed? Slightly quicker than the infamous nanosecond Syreen handjob! The only problem is that its "wow!" leaves as quickly as it comes. Then you're back to being your normal, puny, limping blue pod self. No puns intended.
The Guardian's main weaponry is an acidic bubble launcher. The acid bubbles themselves are specially engineered with highly-intensified surface tension cohesion in order to survive the rigors of space. pH levels of these molecular space-mines are so acidic that no substance outside a laboratory setting has been able to withstand contact with it. The acid itself seems to sense biological material as it always heads in the direction of the nearest living object! This inorganic-guidance mechanism has been dubbed "Chaos™ tracking" by the subject's premier reseachers. On top of that, the Guardian holds a great store of this bubble-creating acid that can be released nearly instantly without destroying the launcher or the vehicle! It still baffles scientists today as to how the Androsynth were so ingenious as to not only invent this substance, but to also build a space-faring weapon with such deadly effect to others without any detriment to itself or its crew! It is unfortunate that this secret may now be lost forever...
There is one of two ways to defeat an enemy in a head-on battle: be stronger or be faster. The Androsynth decided both options were best when they developed Blazer technology, and did they succeed! One tug of a rope and the Guardian sheds its crusty blue cocoon and morphs into a beautiful blazing deadly comet, which just about vaporizes anything it touches! Never mind the G-forces! This puppy gets so fast it can rip an Earthling Cruiser into shreds in seconds! Get it wedged into an Orz Nemesis and watch the fireworks ensue! Even Spathi captains try to wedge themselves deeper into their nooks when the big, bad Blazer comes a-knockin'. And they were on the same team!
There are a few bugs in the system though. Once the Blazer form has been initiated, it burns up all available fuel until there is none left. And once it does that, it reverts to normal form and comes to a dead stop like it was a space-anchor. And there's no better irony than when a Guardian's captain is peeling his face off the comm-screen after his Guardian ran out of gas, only to find a nuclear missle being forcibly shoved up his exhaust diffusor!
Layout and design
Little blue beetle. Little blue space-buoy. Little blue traffic light. Little blue garbage can. The Androsynth are experts when it comes to being mocked. The humble, modest, petite Guardian is indeed little and indeed blue, but it roots are designed with utmost efficency.
A small red, translucent cylinder makes up a small central crew cabin with enough room to house a minimal host of crew. Surrounded by bluish round discs that probably house the means to create and distribute the Chaos™-tracking acid and topped with a little green acid launcher, the Guardian appears less menacing than an Umgah Drone. And don't be fooled by the comm-screen picture of the many Androsynth controlling the ship. It's a simple comm-screen-saver deftly engineered to hide the true Androsynths captain's orders.
Once in Blazer form, fear has a name. Perfectly round and engulfed with glowing red-pink fire, it becomes apparent why the Androsynth tolerate so many insults. It is because they indeed have the upper hand.
The Guardian as a Symbol
Below is an excerpt from P. N. Hawthorne's The Rise and Fall of the Synthetic Empire, published in 2198:
- When the Androsynth blasted forth into the heavens, humanity found itself in a state of shock. How? many asked dumbly. How could they desert the hand that shaped their face? Few had understood why the wretched 'Synths would have taken such drastic action after the years of abuse from their less-than-benevolent "Creators." Off they went into the sky, off into a land where they could control their own destiny, and out of the hands of every human man, woman, and child... supposedly never to be seen again. It was too late for the human race to repent for its sins; the Androsynth were gone. And when their grief finally overwhelmed them, there would be no absolution. Mankind was not able to ask forgiveness because they was no one left to ask forgiveness of.
- And when war came hurtling across the bounds of space and runneth over into Earth's threshold, and when humans were forced to face an unstoppable opponent, lo! it was an Androsynth face facing back. Their eyes shone. Their teeth glistened. They wanted pain! They wanted revenge! And they wanted blood... Their hatred fueled their return, and their cunning bolstered their resolve.
- With Androsynth warships whipping in and out and out and in across the Terran skies, appearing as quick as morning dew and disappearing into the vast darkness beyond, it was too similar to the same manner in which they had left years before! The Guardian became a symbol of true Androsynth independence: the tool with which to defeat their creators! An angelic spear of cometous fury! A Human killer! And we were lost... broken by our own creations... our own tools... our own clay...
- And in the end when the Androsynth disappeared from TrueSpace altogether, did they blast off into a new realm not only beyond the Earth and beyond the Sun but also beyond all the known Universe -- like a Guardian blazing a new path into the night sky? Or did they overexert themselves into a inescapable pit of indescribable vengeance, whose hatred outmatched their own -- like a Guardian blazed out of fuel directly next to a vengeful Scout? Or could it be that they have finally transcended and achieved the godliness that we failed at administering?
- I have wondered this for decades, but in vain. Time will never tell, for the book on the Androsynth has been closed to the human race once again. And forevermore.
- Long live the Androsynth! Long live the keepers of the Guardian!