In simplistic terms of the flesh-bound physical world, Acubens wouldn't be the type to catch attention walking down the street in any average city. Because It wouldn't be walking down the street. Sitting somewhere in a dark and climate-controlled room is a dedicated server rack with a prodigious amount of space for memory and data storage. Contained within that is the printed copy and simulation of a whole brain: all the thoughts and emotions and spirit that had once been the very much organic and physical Null Seven from years past. And while to a layman outsider this might seem impressive once the full scope of just what it was settled on them. But for Spacers its really just par for the course.
The form that most organics would encounter Acubens in is Its chosen platform for moving about in the meatworld.
Acubens' meatworld platform is a android body that stands roughly seven feet tall, and in spite of a seemingly thin or “toned” appearance it weighs in at around 260lbs due to all the hardware that makes it work. Yet despite the size and seeming bulk of the frame, the hulking android body moves with surprising speed, and is far more agile and capable than the appearance would suggest. For its height it could be described as lanky - or perhaps “toned” by enthusiasts of the word. Thick crimson fibers stand in the place of muscles and are visible at certain points such as the limbs and joints where they are not covered by gunmetal gray plating. There aren't many lights or indicators like an avid science fiction fan would expect form such a robot. Instead the plating is covered in a slew of Freespacer religious graffiti on almost every available free inch, save for the face-plate of the head.
The head is fairly humanoid in shape save for the fact that those not used to dealing with machines might have trouble figuring out where to make eye-contact. There are no seeming eyes visible from the outside unless Acubens were to opt to remove their face-plate. Instead optical sensors are masked and hidden by an armored display screen that acts as equal parts means of expression, and protection for vital instruments in the cranium. With variable colors and options for display, it is most often used as a means of displaying emotions to supplement body-language. Such as crossed out eyes or a cartoonish smiley-face. More often when more focused on virtual reality, it tends to be left idly blank.
The spinal column comes out instead of being flush with the rest of the plating, and along either side rests a track. While two humanoid arms are mounted at the equivalent shoulders where one would expect, along this rail system is two more pairs of slightly longer arms to give Acubens a total of six functional appendages. All six share the same level of articulation and fine motor skill control, with the other two sets having the ability to be moved up and down the spine-railing as the SI might have need. Normally this would see one set coming up over the shoulders and another down near the waist. Though it should be noted that if Acubens has impetus to appear slightly more humanoid the arms can “fold away” partially behind them. This essentially makes the robot look like it has an odd-shaped and clunky backpack and is really not Acubens' preferred posture for a number of reasons.
As far as attire on this machine, Acubens is surprisingly simple for a Spacer. Bare feet are generally seen, with baggy pants tied at the waist by a rainbow-colored cloth belt, and Acubens tends to forgo any sort of shirt though It has at times shrouded themselves in a rather large cloak and hood sewn together with electric blue thread. Whether this is personal choice or some vague attempt at concealment is anybody's guess.
Acubens is an odd mixture of child-like curiosity, a vast wealth of knowledge and connection, and an odd sort of wisdom that comes from martial practice and focus. At times It seem like It wishes to impart some learned wisdom that It has plucked from the collective experience, at others It might be spotted fiddling in curiosity with whatever might have caught Its attention in idle times, and at others It can be found in some nearly meditative state as It tries to ponder the specifics of stellar engines or other theories. At times It might even be trying to do more than one of these at any time through the nature of being a relatively incorporeal being despite having a shell of sorts in the meatworld.
It prides Itself as a sort of martial pacifist who has sought enlightenment in studying the physical form of organic fighters throughout the centuries and seeing what could be taken and learned from their styles and forms. Perfection to Acubens is achieved in a total understanding of one's self and your capabilities and limits. The universe and creation around you are nothing to admire if you are not a being fit and capable enough to endure its hardships between those things of beauty and wonder. It would also say that It believes the quickest and most sure way to destroy bigotry and discrimination is to travel to lands you've never seen, live with people who don't speak your native tongue, and learn schools of thought you were not raised in. Perhaps that is what has kept Acubens so willing to travel for so long instead of returning to Its home fleet.
In regards to violence, Acubens practices a sort of carrot-and-stick diplomacy method with a preference at all times to the proverbial carrot. Violence against anybody is something detestable and it should be avoided whenever that is possible. At times Acubens has even gone to some length so It could spare an opponent after things had already escalated to the point where others sought to kill the syntelligence. To injure somebody is a failing of diplomacy and peace, but killing is a whole separate monster. However by the measure of most other Freespacers Acubens can come across as quite violent: an intelligent being that has dedicated a good portion of Its existence and power to the study and practice of very brutal and personal hand-to-hand warfare. On some level Acubens doesn't like to talk about what exactly It does well with strangers when It can avoid it.
Like most Freespacers, Acubens has little concept of personal space or private property (or life-long monogamy). It often likes to linger close to those It considers friends or good associates and serving on the same vessel is a quick way to earn that title. This can make it a touch awkward for some people to have a six-armed combat machine towering over them like some sort of friendly metal guard dog. Handshakes are a disgustingly formal and detached thing introduced by outside influences and It almost never partakes in them; It often goes for enthusiastic hugs instead. It should also be expected that Acubens will lash out like a sleeping giant if Its friends and shipmates are subjected to peril.
Where life goals are concerned it would seem that Acubens doesn't have many grand plans. It doesn't often talk of its mothership or home fleet, never seems to express any strong desire to return, and seems totally content as a traveler offering Its services and special skills where they might be asked for. The syntelligence is also not a fan of talking about Its own past and experiences; It prefers to deflect questions about Itself and instead turn the topic towards others to learn more about them.
In a society that promotes the peaceful solution before all others, it might be a touch odd to learn that there is actual a school of martial thought and practice. While the exact number of people who actively ascribe to its teachings and principles might be hard to discern without in-depth and proper research, the school is at least established enough to have an agreed upon name. For outsiders who might worry that learning the teachings would be a years-long endeavor, in reality the followers of this school of thought really only have two agreed upon tenets that all followers must abide by.
Newcomers who wish to learn about this particular school of thought are first introduced to the Six Hands by their instructor. In one hand there is a pistol or other such weapon, in the second is an explosive charge, in the third is a blade, the fourth has a datapad, the fifth is a clenched fist, and the sixth is an open hand. They will then be asked to choose which hand it is that they feel would truly be the most useful. Of course the instructor will tell them that out of all those presented, it is the open hand which has the most use. It can lash out, strike, chop, or break. Or it can reach out, nurture, or heal. It is something not bound to any one purpose or field of use and it is never strictly a thing of war or peace.
Where teachers of the Way stand on killing is mixed. For some it is seen as only a failing of the highest level while others would view it as simply following the second tenet in a situation where the practitioner had their hand forced by others. In some cases a fighter who ended up killing their opponents in battle have been ostracized from among their peers or permanently viewed in a different light, while others never experienced much change in how they were viewed by their fellows. It can honestly be a touch hit-and-miss depending on the situation.
Battledancer Acubens was once a very mortal, very organic man: born a clone aboard his fleet's mothership as a Type Three several years ago. His early years of childhood were spent one of only two ways. Either he was in a deep sleep, resting within a sterile and cramped cloning pod as the academics he would need to know were given to him: sciences that defined creation, art inspired by beauty and passion, and the mathematics of efficiency and productivity that so carefully regulated and controlled a seeming anarchy's existence. Those long periods not spent under were instead spent among his peers in carefully controlled environments as he learned and developed the social hints and cues he would need to fit in as an adult.
As they grow up many of Acuben's kind take to more liberating exploration of sciences and art while developing the skills that they will see put into use in the community at large. Acubens was able to make himself perfectly happy by combining both of these things into one form as he sought apprenticeship under the few members of the Matryoshka fleet who stood as full-time soldiers. He was advised against this and told on several occasions that he would stand out as an oddity in a field mostly filled by task-focused Type Twos. Among their ranks he found that he wasn't excluded or standing out: he did his job the same as any others and he did it well. That was enough for his new peers and instructors to accept him into their ranks as his adulthood drew near, and among them he found his creative passion and unique love for art.
The most formative group who Battledance Acubens would come into contact in those early years would be a small guild of sorts among the fleet's soldiers: the followers of the Way of the Empty Hand. They saw the technology and devices that the world so relied on and had found a simpler and more effective beauty and force in the mastery of one's body in the meatworld. He saw a strange sort of artistic beauty in their movements and teachings that appealed to him. His early teachings in the Way were not anything officious by any standards, but as time progressed he began to garner more of a name and a reputation as a follower of the Way among the fleet. And for several years of his early life the young man knew a comfortable peace and dependability until the Schism rippled through the Free State.
The Matryoshka fleet was ruled by a pacifist majority at the time of the Yamataian genocide. In spite of the dangers faced if they stayed, they didn't wish to give up their current way of life by fleeing into the Rift, or risking the infinitely unknown expanses of space beyond the range of modern scanners and communications. On multiple occasions they tried to hale Yamataian vessels in some attempt to sue for peace and bring about some form of negotiations. And time and time again they were fired on and had to flee to safety, down just that many more vessels and shipmates. A public figure named Puppeteer Solder Five Null soon came to rise out of this in support of a different method, with his views and stances being lumped in by the passage of time with the more modern Rebel faction of the Free State.
Protests began about arming more of the fleet's vessels and at the very least returning fire when encountering Yamataian patrols, discussions of how they could attempt to at least stall the Star Empire long enough that another more powerful nation such as Nepleslia might intervene. Mainline interests protested in return. Sit-ins in the meatworld escalated to genuine DOS attacks on non-critical fleet systems, and into violent protests. Fleet efficiency and productivity was genuinely hampered as things only escalated further and further. By the time the heads of the fleet began deploying what few troops they had against the common citizens, a mob mentality began to take over, and force further escalation into violence. Five Null became less a leader of the Rebel sect and more a name chanted by the mobs during riots.
Eventually things culminated in what those of the fleet would simply call the Mothership Mutiny.
Both sides were driven to desperation to see the fighting come to an end. Pacifists driven to relying on armed soldiers to try and keep their way of life sat anxiously behind passageway barricades while hungry and battered Rebels screamed and hurled debris in protest before throwing themselves forward like human waves. Both sides realized as time passed that the crux of the whole conflict rested with who controlled the fleet mothership. Whoever sat at the helm of the Matryoshka Dream could force any decisions they saw fit by simply having control of the fleets's primary source of cloning materials and the cores of many of the fleet's Type Five syntelligences.
Battledancer Acubens was considered a certifiable master of the Way of the Empty Hand at this stage in his life and had taken on an apprentice of his own: a young man named Warbreaker Peace Seven Three. They were routinely asked to stand guard outside the mothership's bridge for long hours in case the would-be mutineers tried to do anything. Of course the day of the Mothership Mutiny would prove that perhaps the ship's captain hadn't always been wrong in their paranoia. Five Null and several of his most loyal followers had worked with sympathizers aboard the mothership to sneak aboard despite a temporary ban on inter-ship personnel transfers. Once aboard the ship they wasted no time to head for the bridge.
The guards in the passageway weren't as prepared as they could have been and were caught completely off-guard by the attack. Multiple defensive choke-points were all hit at once to force the security teams to stay as spread out as possible or take significant losses of ground. To add in fractured and confused communications, sleep deprivation, hunger, and general fatigue meant that by the time any sort of solid defensive line could be organized, the mutineers were so close to their objective that rounds were able to ricochet down the main passageway and into the bridge itself. The bridge crew was so terrified that they were soon going to be raided that Acubens and his apprentice were under strict orders that they weren't to venture out farther than the final stretch of the main passageway to the bridge.
A certain benefit came from the ferocity of the battle's final hours: it was a mutual slaughter. As the last sentries shuffled or carried their injured comrades past them, Acuben's apprentice stated openly that he was worried about just what kind of attackers they were going to be facing. But the vanguard of the mutineers was a tiny team who weren't far from being called walking wounded themselves. They were low on ammo and in tight confines when they came rushing at their own pace after their fleeing enemies, to come running head-long into an ambush they hadn't prepared for. Acubens and his apprentice weren't allowed the luxury of showing mercy with their own lives and the very fate of the fleet at stake.
They fought like men who were certain they were going to die in that hallway. Necks were snapped or torn open with blades, bones and joints were so thoroughly shattered that those who survived would never see the organic limb used again, and so many rounds were fired in the confusion that by the end of it the deck glittered under red emergency lighting like some sort of macabre constellation of stars in a crimson void. The remaining mutineers were either dead, too injured to keep fighting, or throwing up their hands in surrender as they realized the momentum had been lost. Five Null didn't even have the decency of a martyr's glorious death for his activism. His body was slumped by the doorway into the bridge itself with a good portion of his grey-matter and skull smearing the wall behind him.
The mutiny was done and the day was saved - but Acubens would only call it a failure.
Too many were dead. Digging among the bodies would find Peace's body where he had fallen riddled with holes from mutineer guns. The Empty Hand master couldn't take a step without coating the bottom of his boots in a fresh layer of blood or stepping on another broken body. His body ached and screamed at him with cuts and grazes and wounds begging for a doctor's attention. He slowly made his way to seek medical attention and spent the next few days trying to get his bearings on the situation that the fleet now found itself in.
There was still unrest and disagreement among the populace but with its primary figurehead dead and the mutiny stopped in its tracks, the rebel sect of the Matryoshka fleet faded away into the background as a minority group. A pseudo-power vacuum came in with people losing faith in the largely pacifist values that had seemed to steer them into the mess, but with the voting majority still generally leaning towards more peaceful solutions while others looked for alternatives. Some saw an alternative in the followers of the Way: heroes of the whole mess who had helped keep the fleet from falling apart in the eyes of some. And it seemed like there wasn't room anywhere in the fleet for Acubens. Eyes watched him with fear or hatred as one of the ones still alive and breathing to blame for everything that had happened over those bloody months.
He used what influence he had among those that approved of what had been done to seek enlightenment. To shed his physical form in the meatworld so that he could pursue existence as a syntelligence. “He” became “It” - a being with no face and no tangible presence in the physical world. It commissioned a shell so that it could manipulate and travel away from the fleet It had called home, gathered up what few worldly belongings It still claimed, and left the fleet behind. It had too many of Its own problems to solve, to worry about helping with the fleet that no longer wanted It.
|Yamatai Star Empire||Strained|
|Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia||Friendly|
|Poku Saeruo Degonjo||Ambivalent|
|Kingdom of Neshaten||Ambivalent|
|The Free State3)||Friendly|
|Free State Relations|
Technically if linked with the polysentience as It almost constantly is, Null Seven's nature as a Type Five Freespacer means that It could potentially download and gain an academic fluency in any language encountered and translated by those who have contributed to the polysentience as a whole. This comes to form in giving or taking orders, recognizing a chain of command (though often with a typical Freespacer's aloofness about it), writing or reading the written language, and communicating effectively in a variety of stressful or complicated situations. The languages It most commonly uses are Nepleslian, Trade, and Yamataigo. Of course binary and computer programming languages could be counted too.
Combat and its intricacies are the primary focus of Null Seven's operations. It is proficient in hand-to-hand combat in environments ranging from bright to low/no-light and increased to low/no-gravity environments. It can efficiently operate pistols, rifles, shotguns, and various other small-arms and even has training and understanding stored in its memory to use explosives such as demolition charges and hand grenades. If pressed, Null Seven can even operate a power armor or mech system that has software compatible with the syntelligence itself in combat situations. It can also operate a variety of heavier duty explosives and even counter-act or reverse-engineer hostile systems with time and resources.
While it is not Null Seven's primary function, all members of the Free State are expected to know at least something about the ships which they call home. Null can conduct basic maintenance on ship components, aid in bridge or helm operations, and with sufficient time to reference with other intelligence through the polysentience It can reliably perform standard operations such as basic ship navigation. While It would not act with the same ease and efficiency as an SI more oriented to such things, Null Seven could reliably stand in as an acting member of a ship crew if needed.
Null Seven can't do anything like hiding in plain site in Its standard meatworld shell. It can move through electronic security systems to bypass locks, firewalls, and defending users. It can pick pockets and knows how to move into the shadows and melt into the darkness when the environment allows for that sort of thing. Despite mass and bulk the syntelligence can have disturbingly quiet footfalls as well. At times it can almost be like Null Seven isn't even there at all in either the meatworld or the digital one and It moves with a surprising grace in either.
It has been forced by choice and circumstance to be relatively independent and has thus had to learn the intricacies of how to maintain automatons like the shell It so often chooses to use. It can perform wiring, rudimentary programming of simple drive systems, and general upkeep and maintenance. To some level this has carried over into the general maintenance of things such as automobiles or other mechanical or electronic systems (such as other automaton frames). Null Seven doesn't usually seek out a ship's fabricator, but It wouldn't be hopelessly lost in operating one if It ever had need to do so.
The nature of syntelligence allows Null Seven to explore and absorb vast amounts of data without worry of corrupting its brain or forgetting other things as a fully organic mind would. So long as It is in range of appropriate sources in the polysentience, It can access data on a wide variety of topics and subjects, and even download such things for use later. It is also a devout practitioner of the Way of the Empty Hand and was seen as a teaching figure for the Way in its home fleet before leaving, and It has still kept studied and versed in the Way during travel abroad.
Acubens has the following items.
|Several||Cloth trousers||Baggy, in various colors|
|Several||Cloth belts||In various colors|
|1x||Hooded poncho||Black, with electric blue thread-work|
|1x||Sandals||Dark-colored wood, with metal-plated soles|
|1x||Duffel bag||Festooned with colorful thread and baubles, for holding all Its worldy possessions|
|1x||Machine repair kit||Contains solder, screws, wire, and other materials to maintain an automaton frame|
|1x||Set of handwraps||A tattered and well-worn star-emblazoned reminder|
|3000 KS||–||–||Starting Balance|
In the case Jin-Roh becomes inactive: