Malosian
The Malosians, more commonly known as Robonauts, evolved from intelligent jellyfish-like creatures
on the planet Malos. They were well-adapted to the planet's cold oceans. However, their star was
short-lived and when it entered the red giant stage the oceans of Malos rapidly evaporated. The
Malosians adapted their biology, through genetic engineering, to survive on land. Their tentacles
developed into limbs - indeed remove the gauntlet of a Malosian and you will find four tentacle-like
digits, each terminating in a mouth. They also developed exoskeletons to assist their movement on
land and to resist the hot and dry conditions. Urgently they took to the stars to escape their dying
world. Unfortunately, however, the Malosians have no empathy at all and few feelings. Born from a
desperate situation they act with paranoia toward all sentient life and, although not evil as such, they
are a warlike conquering race.
The firearm on the trooper's right arm is capable of launching plasma balls or laser beams, depending upon
fire mode. The manipulator on the trooper's left arm is a power manipulator designed for strength and for
crushing. However, it can change shape to perform more delicate tasks. A wide range of tools can replace
the firearm and manipulator.

(
Click here for an earlier Pov-Ray rendition of a heavily armoured Malosian trooper).
Right: Malos as it is now - a blasted
desert world orbiting a dying star. Malos,
meaning 'bad' or 'ill' was the name given
to this planet by Federation explorers.
The Malosians simply designate Malos
as planet 0001 and their own name for
their species is unwritable, but in our
language they call themselves the
Robonauts - meaning robotocised space
beings.

These Robonaut beings are total
drones, doing whatever is required to
further their own species, and viewing
other life-forms with paranoid contempt -
considering all other life a potential
threat to their own existence. Their
entire militant industry is devoted to the
singular purpose of gaining domination
and exterminating all other life-forms.
Driven by logic and apparently devoid of
all emotion, they form a formidable and
extremely dangerous 'machine' society.
Left: Malos as it once was - a vibrant
ocean planet with sub-zero oceans. Its
original name, given to it by the
Robonaut ancestors, is unknown.

Excessive stellar heating caused this
world to lose its liquid hydrosphere - its
atmosphere dried and thinned and its
oceans evaporated, exposing a desert
core. Once a paradisal world supporting
a vast range of ocean life, including the
intelligent 'Malosians', its struggling
inhabitants became militarised, fighting
over diminishing resources. In the end,
one overlord emerged, a ruthless tyrant
and psychopath, who genetically
engineered the inhabitants and
transformed them into an obedient
race, with the overlord as the first
Robonaut Emperor. They developed
armoured exoskeletons to protect them
from their harsh environment and
dispensed with their emotions.


Click here to see a Malosian Black-Fire class dreadnought or click here to view the technical specs.
Little detail is available about Malos, except for the beamed log of the first explorers to land upon it. Their ship,
the explorer Quason-7 was one of a flotilla commissioned by the Symbraxis Corp to explore the great
GCN-7401 nebula for potential resources. Their ship crash-landed on Malos, a planet on the far-side of the
nebula, following steering system failure. Marooned, the survivors discovered a hostile and peculiar world. The
terrain consisted almost entirely of hot desert sand dunes blasted by intense stellar radiation and stellar
storms.  At first the explorers found no Robonauts. (The only Robonaut Malosian presence on the planet was
a handful of science facilities and military camps with shuttles delivering supplies and troops.) However, they
made contact with a cyborg species, the Cephalotrons, hostile initially, these creatures became allies to the
stranded explorers. Apparently these beings, consisting of little more than tentacled brains, were an off-shoot
of early genetic experiments by the Malosians on their own cells. This form escaped from its laboratory and
multiplied at a phenomenal rate, utilising technology that the Malosians had left on Malos. The Cephalotrons
possessed genius intellects, a legacy of their genetically engineered progenitors. The explorers learnt that the
planet was infested by several colonies of
Ankaragi insectoids, themselves marooned following a previous
space battle. These insectoids were being attacked and eliminated by the planet's other indigenous population
- the Robonauts, who had already largely left the planet and colonised certain neighbouring systems. The
stranded Ankaragi, despite their rapid reproduction rate, were seemingly unable to prevail as their
technological resources were limited. The Cephalotrons had a total resentment of the Robonauts and the two
species had previously engaged in total war - a war which saw Malos sterilised almost completely. By the time
that the crew of the Quason made contact with them, the Cephalotrons were reduced to a handful in number,
but still they strove to sabotage the Robonaut's experiments. The crew of the Quason never left Malos - they
all perished there, one-by-one. Shortly after the final log transmission (sent by Engineer Stahl, the last crew
survivor) Malos underwent a second sterilisation as it became enveloped in neutron radiation. Speculation has
it that the last Cephalotrons sacrificed themselves as they annihilated a Robonaut invasion fleet that according
to the log had landed to exterminate the Cephalotrons. Apparently they activated some sort of doomsday
device of unknown origin (possibly a relic of earlier Malosian civilisation). [The Cephalotrons were so-caleld
because of their massive cerebral development and are not unlike the Cephalodomes who were developed
from the same genetic stoke, with modifications to ensure their obedience to the Robonaut cause.]

The Malosians are currently at war with the UGA (United Galactic Alliance) and their industrial capacity and
speed of technological development are great problems. Malosians are totally loyal to the cause of their
empire and strive constantly to secure their future survival by attempting to eliminate all sentient life-forms that
may be potential competition. This 'paranoia' motivates the Malosians to engage in constant warfare. However,
survival is their primary aim, rather than war itself. It isn't clear how such a technological and intelligent race
became so bent on warfare. Perhaps this mentality is a result of their extensive genetic engineering of their
own genotype. With their highly advanced technology, the Malosians represent the biggest threat currently in
the known galaxy.

Malosian troopers are formidable opponents in battle, but it is in space where wars are lost and won. Control
space and you have won the war as planet after planet can be sieged at will. The Malosian warfleets excel in
combat. They have superb gunnery and fire control and they have miniaturised many starship systems,
allowing their warships to carry a formidable array of weapons. They are also experts in developing armoured
hulls. In short, their spacefleets are formidable. The Malosian Black-Fire class dreadnoughts are the backbone
of the Malosian warfleets. These ships are more than a match for anything that the UGA has.
Did you know?

Proof that the Malosians evolved from jellyfish-like ancestors became apparent on the planet Tau-Draco 5. A
small colony of Malosians arrived on the planet, but shortly afterwards they began to notice the strange effect of
degeneration - they began to slowly evolve backwards. They attempted to ensure their survival by constructing
temporal stasis fields around their base camp, with limited success. They located the source as an alien device on
the planet, which was generating a sophisticated chronon-field that caused genetic material to revert to its
primordial state. Attempts to use Malosian androids to deactivate the field were eventually successful, but by this
point all that remained of the colonists were blobs of jelly that did not survive long on this desert planet.
Malosian evolution

The picture above shows one of the Malosian ancestral forms - a tentacled jellyfish like creature which lived in the
ammonia oceans that once covered Malos. These creatures later adapted to life on land, their brains enlarged
and the tentacles fused into two pairs of limbs, except at the distal ends where the tentacles remained free,
forming the digits. It is not known for certain how far they evolved by natural means until their own genetic
engineering took over. The Malosians today are experts at genetic engineering and organism design and
manufacture. They have produced several morphological variants of their own species. Some individuals still
resemble the creature above somewhat, and are used as brains to control cybernetic appliances, including heavy
war-borgs.

Much of what we know about these ancestral forms comes from historic records retrieved by explorers from Malos
and also by observations of their own generation plants and genetic make-up. Today, Malosians reproduce by
artificial means, using temporal accelerators when sufficient power is available, and they are seen to pass through
several embryonic stages thought to be recapitulations of their evolutionary ancestry (much as human embryos
pass through a stage possessing pharyngeal slits, which are thought to be ancestral gill slits). One such
embryonic form resembles the one above, but lacks tentacles and detaches discs from the conical column of
discs underneath the bell, with each disc developing into a complete individual (a process known as
polyembryony). Malosians have combined teh genetic material from both genders into each individual (their cells
are binucleate tetraploid). The ancestral forms soon became social creatures, using a combination of tentacle
movements and bioluminescence to communicate, in addition to very low pitched infrasounds (below the threshold
of human hearing). The pictures below show an ancestral Malosian signalling, see if you can guess what they are
saying and what the whole message may mean(click on the thumbnails to enlarge)!
Green light signal
Tentacles raised signal
Red light signal
Red light signal 2
Red light signal 3
Red light signal 4
Early Malosian trooper
Above: an early form of Malosian trooper. Having evolved into bipedal amphibious creatures, as the Malosian
oceans slowly shrank, these troopers were genetically modified and bear lethal stinging tentacles.
drone
Above - left: a trooper with additional armour; centre: a trooper with extra muscle packs in the legs for
increased athleticism; right: a Cephalodome. These curious creatures were originally thought to be a
different race allied to the robonauts. Indeed, their genetics are appreciably different, but they have common
ancestry and have been produced by genetic engineering. They consist of a massive brain, covered by a
thin membrane, equipped with a small conical trunk and a number of tentacles. This one is inside a typical
exoskeleton, but others are embedded inside various machines which they operate. They were reportedly an
early experiment in genetic engineering.

The exoskeletal armour is photoreactive and so can change colour and pattern to match the environ and so
camouflage the trooper. It also has the ability to dissipate laser beams and can protect from intense heat as
well as the coldness and vacuum of space. The armour can confer invisibility over a narrow band of
wavelengths by causing light to flow around the trooper without reflection, absorption or refraction. The
armour is an intelligent composite material that can repair itself to some degree, though damaged modules
are easily replaced. The armour has a nanostructure that not even Erfavlin technology has yet been able to
duplicate and contains a superheavy element that has yet to be produced on Earth.

This trooper can ruin twice as fast as a human without tiring. Its reactions are much faster than those of most
humans and it is as strong as the strongest man. Its brain is programmed with weapons skills, tactics and
essential technical skills.
Heavy Trooper
Right: these automated drones were encountered on
Malos by the crew of the Quason. They are
formidable opponents. They typically drilled into the
sands of Malos and then emerged to attack without
warning! They were armed with a 360-degree laser
torus capable of firing in up to four different
directions simultaneously and two heavy laser
turrets, mechano-plasma drills, an anti-personel
defence screen, dust-storm generators, radiation
screens and reflective hulls.
Alien facility
Alien brain
Above: a Robonaut facility infiltrated by a stealth probe. The giant
vessel contains a modified Malosian which is little more that a
giant tentacled brain (left). The facility is being run by
Cephalodomes (see below).
Alien brain animation
Robonaut
Malosians completed their adaptation to dry land and finally outer space by a combination of biological and
cybernetic engineering. With the aid of their armoured exoskeletons, which earned them the name of
Robonaut, they are even able to survive for prolonged periods in the vacuum of space. They have also
undergone certain biological adaptations, strengthening the skeleton, the original gelatinous/cartilaginous
structures have been replaced by secreted carbon polymers in a semi-crystalline array, producing
somewhat translucent plastic-like skeletal supports. Strengthened muscles are attached to this skeleton,
especially the back muscles which have been strengthened for use on dry land. The limb muscles consist of
complex spirally arranged contractile fibres. However, they are still vulnerable without their exoskeletal
armour, which enhances their toughness, speed and strength. This armour is almost totally impervious to
super high-velocity rifle rounds and gyrojet rockets and most kinetic energy weapons. It also has the ability
to reflect, absorb and dissipate laser energy. Recently, better protection against proton beam weapons has
been incorporated, though such weapons are still moderately effective against the armour.

Additional synthetic muscles are provided by the exoskeleton, consisting of contractile polymers. The
exoskeleton is continuous at the joints and flexes according to electric currents flowing through it, changing
state between soft and pliable and rigid. Armoured joint capsules protect these electrosensitive areas. The
exoskeleton is equipped with a tactile sensor network and interfaces directly with the brain by
electromagnetic signals. The outer layers of the skeleton are well insulated against electrical charges,
giving protection to the sensitive circuitry inside. A network of unpolymerised liquid extends around the
exoskeleton through special fibres which is capable of repairing and remodeling itself as needed. Additional
armour packs can also be attached. A special polymer layer absorbs most radiation. The colour of the
armour can be modified adaptively, allowing the Robonaut to blend into its environment.

Inside the exoskeleton resides a still somewhat gelatinous and translucent organism, reminiscent of its
jellyfish ancestry.

The nervous system consists of the large brain, with a helical cortex divided into four main sectors or lobes.
The cortical area is considerable due to extensive folding. Four nerve cords extend from the brain into the
torso and to the four limbs, which are modified tentacles. Each limb terminates in four tentacular digits. The
forelimbs retain a mouth at the end of each digit, which opens into an oesophageal canal. The four canals
quickly fuse and travel along the core of the arm, to the torso and abdomen where they enter the gut. The
gut is reduced to a single chamber, a four-lobed chamber with motile villi. This chamber appears to secrete
no enzymes, but simply absorbs the nutrients that are supplied in pre-digested form. Amino acid broth is the
synthetic food source and this is taken into the mouths by suction. The mouths in the hindlimb digits are
vestigial as this pair of tentacles no longer plays any role in feeding.

Sensors are arranged in a sensory ring around the head. These include eight indistinct eyes, arranged in 4
pairs around the ring, and vibration sensors. The exoskeleton possesses a ring overlying this region which
enhances the biological senses. Although vision is through 360 degrees, it appears that only one pair of
eyes at a time can be given detailed processing from the brain, which is able to switch its attention between
the eyes.

Robonaut blood contains a manganese-based pigment and varies from purple to pale-pink in colour.
Robonauts no longer require oxygen, rather they contain an energy-storing organ that occupies much of
the thorax and which can drive the redox reactions of the cells directly via the manganese-pigment which
changes oxidation state. This organ requires periodic recharging and stores tremendous amounts of energy
that can power some weapon systems, such as the laser sidearm that troopers and drones frequently carry.
power belts can provide additional power if needed. Malosian tissues have a high content of ammonia,
which was originally the main nitrogenous excretory product, initially secreted into solution and then
released as gas when the Malosians adapted to life on dry land. They have taken this further, minimising
the inconvenience of excretion, and now excrete solid crystalline waste which is accumulated into large
crystals in a special gland. Digestive waste is minimal or non-existent since they generally ingest nutritive
broth only.
Robonaut society is purely functional. They appear to have no feelings or emotions, being driven only by logical
neural circuits. They do not even feel pain as most sentient beings do, they are simply aware of a prioritised
response to take action to avoid damage. Their logic is based on the flawed assumption that all other life-forms
are potential threat, either now or in the future, and must therefore be eliminated or at least controlled. Each
'individual' is totally devoted to the Robonaut cause, with a distinct hierarchical command structure. Their
commitment to industry is unsurpassed, and their industry base is constantly expanding exponentially, apart from
set-backs fighting so many wars with other life-forms. How did this race develop in this way? What went wrong? As
already explained, they came from the dying world Malos. In its prime this planet supported a highly sophisticated
and well-developed society, with aesthetic principles and an appreciation of life, both their own and that of others.
However, when the crisis of their dying world reached a critical phase, a small group of very wealthy individuals
unleashed an obedience virus. This virus genetically reprogrammed the populace for obedience to the ruling
clique and their supreme emperor. Those individuals who escaped the virus by natural means (by fate or by
natural immunity) were systematically destroyed in a civil war. This takeover was facilitated by the
commercialisation of the planet - all science research facilities and educational establishments were at one time
privatised. This meant that they worked for the sole service of the large corporations whose trade secrets meant
that science now became a subject only for the selected esoteric few. Over time only a few large corporations
dominated, and their leaders formed the ruling clique. When the virus was unleashed, the populace had no
detailed understanding of what was causing the change in their behaviour, not understanding the nature of
viruses or genetic manipulation, and so were unable to combat it, they simply lacked access to medical research
facilities. Once subjugated, the populace was subjected to more extensive genetic manipulation and cloning.

Of the ruling clique, they are now all almost certainly no more. The last to perish was the Emperor, who was
destroyed in the recent UGA-Robonaut war (although it is thought that the last emperor was a genetic clone of the
original). He has been replaced, but Robonauts today have a distributed command structure, in which the local
commanders act largely independently, since Robonauts now all have the same core mindset they have little need
of an actual leader, they automatically work together with computer brains to facilitate in decision-making. Leaders
function primarily to resolve computational dilemmas, otherwise they seem to agree easily on a course of action.
However, recent intelligence reports suggest that the mind of the last Emperor was uploaded to a vast computer
system/network and that his consciousness is now effectively interminable, but fused with that of the core
computer brains as a composite consciousness. The emperor physically destroyed in the last conflict may have
simply been a local copy. In any case, his destruction did not achieve the desired results.

Update

Computer memory chips recently retrieved from the ruins of Malos have shed more light on Robonaut evolution.
The ruling clique that brought about the final revolution was the Gralixin Tech Corp and its political associates.
Prior to the obedience virus, they used mind-scanning techniques, microchip implants, surveillance and draconian
laws to gain control under the pretence of benevolence and maintaining law and order. They encouraged sacrifice
for the 'greater good' from the masses whilst giving less than they took for themselves. Despite these measures,
discontent grew within the populace. It was at this stage that they unleashed the obedience virus. This virus not
only induced obedience in those infected, but also induced developmental defects in which emotion was
eradicated. All that remained was to introduce a set of logical ideals, a set of rules that governed all thought within
the populace. The ruling clique then proceeded to plot against itself and one-by-one each was eliminated, until
only one individual remained as supreme ruler of the Robonaut race.

This leader was to become Robonaut Emperor as the Malosians spread throughout space. He (we refer to this
individual as masculine for convenience, although by this point gender was irrelevant as all Robonauts were
produced by synthetic means and bioengineered for various functions) arranged for his own effective immortality,
by uploading his mind into the Robonaut central computer net, allowing his continual 'reincarnation' by
downloading his mind-print into replacement bodies. However, we now know that all did not go exactly as planned.
The computer net corrupted his psyche with the logical code of conduct and after several download cycles the
Emperor ceased to have emotions of his own and also became a slave to the same computerised logic that
enslaved the minds of the Malosian race. Now this logical code is the true ruler of the Robonauts, who can
continue function in the absence of a bodily emperor - they have a hierarchy of command intended to resolve
indecision, but otherwise all Robonauts have the same driving motives and this binds them together as a selfless
machine. Their emperor is now simply a computer AI.

What are these 'logical' ideals? Put simply: to ensure the survival of the Robonaut race at all costs, in particular
by eradicating, when possible, other life forms that pose a potential threat in the present or future. Their
programmed but powerful minds and their advanced bioengineered brains strive relentlessly towards this goal.

Robonaut Battle Tactics

So, what should one do if being attacked by Robonaut troopers? Fighting a pitched battle in the open is usually
the worst course of action, unless one is protected by a field of anti-proton mines or accompanied by a force of
the latest battle droids with lightning reactions. However, unless you have rapid transportation then it is unlikely
you shall outrun them. Robonauts will usually send in probes to ascertain an opponents strengths and then, if
they perceive their foe to be readily defeatable, they will charge at very high speed, using their agility, armour,
shields and remarkable reaction speed to overwhelm enemy positions, assisted by a variety of particle-beam
weapons. If the enemy is perceived to be in too strong a defensive position then they will launch micro-satellites to
bombard enemy positions from high altitude with particle beam weapons and they may send in sacrificial
shatter-droids. These automated mobile weapon's platforms may move by means of mechanical legs or
anti-gravitation and are designed to deliver very intensive but short-lived bursts of firepower, whilst employing
sonic devices and other psychological weapons designed to disorient the electric or neural circuitry of opponents,
until they are positioned strategically at which point they will detonate if and when their fire-power is nearing
depletion. Positions may also be fired upon with smart gyrojet projectile weapons - powerful armour-piercing
bullets which select and home-in on their targets. Troopers may then storm positions at high-speed, whilst the
enemy is still disoriented. If needed, then reinforcements may be brought to the front-line with tremendous speed,
for example in transport pods (a pod 10 m by 2 m may carry 16 troopers) which are clocked for invisibility and
travel by anti-gravity levitation or, on more difficult terrain, on mechanical legs. The former may reach speeds of
about 1000 kph, the latter 400 kph (less on difficult terrain).

Robonauts are not invincible, however. Any means of slowing down their charging troopers will give the enemy
valuable time to react. Corridors and barricades will slow them down, allowing multiple hits against each trooper
(most small arms require multiple hits to penetrate Robonaut armour). Inertial force fields have proven effective in
this respect. Heavy proton cannons are perhaps the most effective infantry weapon for penetrating Robonaut
defensive screens and armour, and if set-up to deliver a crossfire this can be an effective defence. The
Robonauts were defeated in the battle of Taros-Minor by the development of a neural toxin which effected
Malosian neurotransmission, however, the Roboanuts have since developed counter-measures to this. The latest
war-bots, such as the
Cybex warbot 7000 series are reasonably effective, but expensive. Fire support from
orbiting warships will certainly slow their advance, though Robonaut units are typically equipped with a number of
micro-satellites which can be rapidly launched by microwave beams and long-range heavy lasers, but these can
not match the firepower of a heavy warship. However, Robonaut warships are formidable and it is best to avoid
pitched space battles with them. Robonaut troopers will begin to lose their advantages in a prolonged battle
without supplies. Their power-banks and ammunitions will eventually drain, forcing them to rely on more basic
weaponry, such as laser blades and electro-knives, though their great strength and agility makes melee with
Robonaut troopers extremely dangerous. When their power-banks drain they will also slow down to more modest
speeds. Robonauts feel no pain as such (they can sense damage but will react logically towards it) and if
damaged then they may retreat or continue fighting as they judge appropriate, until their total destruction if need
be, however, they will slow when damaged. Sonic mines and sonic grenades may damage their soft tissues
without breaching their armour, although their armour has a damping system to defend against such weaponry
these weapons may however be useful in slowing them down.

Will the Robonauts prevail?

Some may question the UGA directives to destroy beings like the Arcturans and Malosians, claiming that makes
us no better than them. However, one has to be pragmatic. Robonauts are programmed with the unshakable
belief that their ensured ultimate survival depends on destroying all other sentient beings. They may form
transient treaties and coexist peaceable with others for a time, but only until they have the advantage. They can
not be trusted and can not be reasoned with since their logical poisons are poisoned by the single premise that
war is the only path to ultimate survival.  Though the UGA never delights in destruction, there is nothing to be
gained by sympathising with the Malosians. Their power must be kept in check. Cronodon is now, of necessity,
instrumental in helping to ensure this. Cronodon is reaching out across the galaxies in an attempt to contact new
civilisations so as to forge new alliances. Only by such an alliance can the Universe be assured of a future for its
many inhabitants. Their are those who believe that the Robonauts will one day dominate the known Universe,
whilst others are more optimistic: waging war without necessity surely has only one ultimate result - destruction!
The Robonaut philosophy is fundamentally flawed. Even if they destroy the UGA, Cronodon and planets like
Earth, then others will stand against them. The Universe is too vast to ever be conquered and those who make
war on all and sundry will find themselves eventually defeated.

Robonaut invasion of Earth?

Attacking a heavily populated planet is never a simple matter, even one as technologically primitive as the Earth.
Earth is far away in space, far from the Malosians and it is unlikely they would be interested in such a remote and
primitive planet. Had Earth been much closer, then perhaps they would absorb it into the boundaries of their
empire by natural colonisation. However, let us suppose that the Robonauts saw a future timeline in which
Earthlings developed at such a rate that they posed a potential threat, albeit probably small, and decided to nip
the problem 'in the bud'.  How might they dispose of Earthlings and how might Earthlings resist? To begin with,
such a potential threat would probably be low priority to the Robonauts, and so it is improbable that a spacefleet
will arrive to sterilise the surface of the Earth, unless the planet happened to be in their flight path. Instead, they
would probably dispatch a single assault scout: a small warship some 30 metres in length, perhaps carrying a
hundred troops and 10 warbots. It would be cloaked, so that earth-bound sensors are highly unlikely to detect it. It
would have the capacity to manufacture perhaps a hundred more troopers. If a longer mission was planned, then
the warship might be accompanied by a small mining craft to mine the Moon for resources to enable more troops
and warbots to be manufactured.

It is possible this warship will simply begin a full-scale assault , but alternatively they may simply release
neural-control agents to target key leaders. This may require intelligence-gathering, perhaps dispatching a
landing-party or probe by stealth to conduct thorough biological analyses of Earthlings in order to understand
their biology. Additionally, based upon a detailed computer analysis of intercepted Earth transmissions whilst the
warship was approaching from light-years away, key leaders could be identified and their most likely locations
ascertained. They may then release small robots, resembling Earth insects, but each capable of injecting an
intelligent neural control agent of biological nature. This bioengineered organism would grow as a network around
the brain, rewiring itself until it achieved its desired aim of taking control. If successful, then they would simply
redirect the future history of Earth development, suppressing technological innovation and keeping Earth trapped
in a primitive state. However, there is always the risk that a detailed brain scan may reveal the neural agent.

Let us consider the option of an all-out assault. This may follow a failed attempt to gain control of world leaders,
for example, or it may simply be to save time - the longer the warship remains engaged in orbit, the more this
resource is detracted from other potential missions. Such an assault may be preceded by an attempt to
assassinate world leaders and military generals. Again, insect-like robots or bioengineered organisms would be
programmed to identify and locate key leaders. Upon locating a target they would inject a lethal toxin, perhaps a
tailor-made neural toxin. Only by retreating beforehand to a bunker, secure enough to stop a cockroach getting
in, and staying there for at least a year, might these leaders be safe. Alternatively, the Robonauts may rapidly
interrupt communications by destroying all communications satellites (which could be done in about 20 minutes at
most) and severing oceanic cables and jamming radars. This strategy is risky as it will raise the alarm and would
be timed to coincide with an attacking force.

Troopers would land in shuttles, using invisibility cloaks. One or two troopers may be dispatched to each key
government establishment to gain control or destroy them. Likely targets include the Whitehouse, the EU
Parliament and the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. At the same time, three or four troopers might be
dispatched to each key military base, attacking at speed, using invisibility. Even if the invisibility was foiled (such
as by broad-spectrum computer-enhanced detection hardware, or simply by using paint bombs) the Robonaut
troopers would still be formidable. Moving at great speed and with great agility they would likely over-run most
bases within a couple of hours. Heavy machine guns and anti-tank missiles and rockets may subdue a Robonaut
trooper, but they would have to be brought to bear en mass. Tank guns could potentially work, but it would be
very hard to hit a target moving as fast and with such agility as a Robonaut trooper, which would aim to initially
knock out a tank's sensors before delivering multiple blows to the rear. If a well-equipped base organised itself
fast enough and the Robonauts found themselves overwhelmed, then they may utilise one of their warbots. Even
if one such warbot was surrounded by a thousand armoured units, then it would probably destroy a hundred of
these before being overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of fire. Rapid-fire laser bombardment from the mothership
in orbit could also rapidly destroy ten or so armoured units in a single volley, and within a second of their
detection. Attacking aircraft can be similarly dealt with. Attack heleicopters could potentially destroy a Robonaut
trooper, but again they would probably struggle against such an agile target, but if necessary, warbots or
space-ground support would destroy them rapidly. It would take a massive coordinated missile strike to breach a
warbot's anti-missile defences. Robonaut troopers would use proton cannons and warbots to break down any
tough defences, such as the partitioning walls and security doors of the Pentagon.

Realistically, some bases may manage to thwart such an attack. They might simply overwhelm the enemy with
vastly superior numbers, or entrap the enemy by means of high explosives or ingenuity. Those that remained a
viable threat would be dealt with by shore bombardment from the orbiting warship, but this would take time. If
successful in eliminating government offices, communications and key military bases, then the Robonauts would
likely give the Earth an ultimatum to surrender or face annihilation. If the earth surrendered then it would be
prevented from developing free-thinking science and instead its resources would be funnelled into manufacturing
equipment for the Robonaut's to secure their position and rapidly reproduce and strengthen their position. Earth
people might carry on almost as normal for a time, but sooner or later the entire planet would be subjugated into
slavery and maybe the human race would be exterminated when the Robonauts were in sufficient number to
accomplish this with relative ease.

If, however, Earth refused to submit, then the Robonauts would unleash phase two of the assault - massive
chemical and biological warfare, or they may be economical and simply hold Earth to ransom with its own nuclear
warheads from captured silos. Perhaps the Earth would consider launching its own nuclear warheads, either
targeted to the mothership or tactical warheads targeted at captured establishments. The former might buy time,
but the missiles would be too slow to breach the mothership's anti-missile laser defences. If necessary the
mothership would outrun any missiles while its laser battery picked them off (in rapid fire mode) or until they
detonated or ran out of fuel to manoeuvre.  A strike against Robonaut held establishments would be more
effective, though collateral damage would be considerable. However, remember that the small assault scout
mothership can manufacture a second waves of troopers in a matter of days and by now they would be standing
by and Earth would likely still have no means of locating any shuttle craft for interception. There is a small chance,
however, that the attack would be successfully repulsed, in which case the Robonauts would likely resort to
weapons of mass destruction, such as biological weapons.
Bioid spore generators
Malosian bioid
Biological weapons

Malosians excel in bioengineering. They have been known to
release bioengineered spores into the atmospheres of planets to
initiate infection. These spores typically have complex life-cycles,
making them hard to predict and deal with. For example, one
such strain released on the dimly-lit world of Dalion-Omega-2
caused a virulent and rapidly fatal form of encephalitis in the
planet's inhabitants. The organism had an alternative life-cycle,
however, in which spores gave rise to fungus-like growths which
generated more of the aerial spores. The inhabitants tried in
vain to eradicate the organism whose infectious spores became
increasingly abundant. Where food was plentiful, such as a
rotting corpse, the growing organism took on another form: a
motile semi-humanoid equipped with stinging, infectious
tentacles which would actively seek out any surviving inhabitants.
However, the Robonauts had overlooked one potential weakness.
Designed for Dalion's dim star-light, the organism and its spores lacked screening pigments. Once they realised
this, the inhabitants could set-up sterilised areas protected by screens of UV light, whilst UV lasers were able to
destroy the motile spore-carriers. Remaining cities could now be protected. Eventually the remaining spores will
lose their viability, but large regions of the planet presently remain uninhabitable.

Would Earth survive such a biological attack? Robonaut's also have no qualms about using chemical weapons.
They would be quite prepared to poison any planet they did not wish to inhabit themselves, perhaps with
polonium-warheads. What about radiation? A small warship does not carry enough nuclear warheads to irradiate
an entire planet, but if the Earth was still considered a potential threat and had resisted all these attacks, then
the Robonauts would simply commit more resources to the problem. Perhaps they would assign a single
light-cruiser, fitted for planetary attack, clearly a valuable warship they would not detach from fleet manoeuvres
lightly, but still less than 1% of their fleet's resources. Such a vessel could bring its neutron batteries to bear,
irradiating some 20 square kilometres a second in acutely lethal neutron radiation, and ten times that area in
radiation lethal in a day or two (by which time much of the neutron radiation will have decayed). Rapid fire laser
batteries could also destroy whole cities by creating fire-storms. Earth's only option at this stage would be to
issue a distress call, but with radio waves travelling no faster than light, who would hear such a distress call in
time, so far away in space?
Above: a synthetic life-form or bioid.
Malos today
Malosian ancestor
Robonaut trooper
Cephalodome brain
Robonaut Allies?

Not all Malosians are Robonauts proper! In
addition to the bipedal forms, derived by
genetic engineering from their jellyfish-like
ancestors, there is another product of
Robonaut genetic engineering which is often
used to operate machinery and for other
maintenance tasks. These are the
Cephalodomes, often recognisable as
Robonaut-like exoskeletons with transparent
dome-like heads with an organic neural mass
within. These organisms are really little more
than tentacled-brains. They have four large
tentacles which are used for anchorage and six
smaller tentacles which can interface optically
with various control devices, including the
exoskeleton suites and heavy equipment. They
have been replaced by robots operated by
quantum-core processors in many applications.
However, they are still extensively used,
perhaps where an organic control system has
certain advantages, such as ease of
production, or perhaps because the
Malosians do not believe in relying on single technologies (they deem this a potential weakness). They are ever
inventive in discovering different ways of doing things. An alternative theory points to Cephalodome history and
suggests that they are a species in their own right existing in symbiosis with the Robonauts. Early explorers,
crash-landing on the planet Malos, found a dry, barren and desert planet blasted by catastrophic climate change
and past wars as their old civilsation collapsed to be replaced by the new. Not all was at peace, however, in this
radiated wasteland. These space explorers encountered a remnant of an opposing force: Cephalodome-like
organisms, products of early Malosian bio-engineering experimentation before they settled on their final form.
These creatures had escaped from Robonaut laboratories intent on one purpose: to destroy the compassionless
Robonauts. These early Cephalodomes retained essentially normal emotions, including empathy, and saw the
threat posed to all sentient life by the newly space-faring Robonauts.

These rebels were vastly outnumbered, but with their enhanced brains they were immensely inventive and
somehow persisted despite Robonaut attempts to exterminate them. That said, they were sometimes overlooked  
as the Robonauts were moving out from Malos, colonising space, so their homeworld was now of reduced
importance. Finally facing annihilation, the last remaining rebel set off a neutron missile which had been part
salvaged from the arsenal used in past civil-wars on Malos (competition grew as natural resources evaporated
and also not all factions yielded peacefully to the mind-control virus) and part manufactured. The result was yet
another great irradiation of Malos. Many Robonauts perished and so did the last of the rebels.

The Robonauts perfected their bio-engineering, and despite these costly failures a stable form of organic brain
was engineered and even given the task of running many essential systems, whilst Robonauts concentrated on
warfare with other planets. Some analysts hypothesise that the Cephalodomes, despite losing the emotions which
had caused their 'instability', had nevertheless infiltrated the Robonaut computer network and reprogrammed it to
make themselves acceptable. Now both Malosian variants coexist and continue to function together seemlessly.
Robonauts have since generated and experimented with other biological variants of themselves.
Article updated: 25 sept 2015