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Origin of a Spaceship: Drones

Excerpt from: Origin of a Spaceship

Drones
Identification:
There is a clear separation of classification types in the various drone types that inhabit spaceships. Certain spaceships appear to have an affinity to certain types of drones but these preferences appear to be personal or at least a product of social teaching within the fleet.

The only area of divergence is in the larger, fighter drones. Drones of these sizes are not known to inhabit any spaceships smaller then capital species spaceships.

The average shape and behavior of a drone mimics a spaceship. However, their small size, erratic behaviors and incoherent behavioral patterns will soon differentiate them from spaceships to any observant spectator. The habitation of spaceships by drones appears to occur across the entire spectrum of ships. Of course, there are some cases where certain ship types appear to exist without any symbiotic drone swarm.

Classification:
Combat
  • Attack Drones: The most common of drones, attack drones were once thought to be a parasitic plague upon fleets of grazing spaceships. Upon closer study it was discovered that they were not parasitic creatures by symbiotic. Attack Drones can be found on almost every type of spaceship. They are highly adaptable creatures and come in various sizes and abilities. They appear to be able to cohabit the same spaceship peacefully and work together for various levels of effectiveness. Attack drones are in general, aggressive and territorial  It has been noted that they do not possess much in the way of self preservation or common sense going up against opponents much larger then themselves with only the most base provocation. 
  • Sentry Drones: An evolved oddity in natural space. Sentry drones are almost immobile  They are able to leave the spaceship that they travel with. However, they have a limited range of movement. Unlike most drones, sentries are unable to keep up with a spaceship in motion. This has caused them to develop a greater affinity for certain types of ship. Sentry drones were once suspected to be some form of spaceship in an pre-incubation form. However, the formidabel amount of damage they can put out and the fact that they are not spaceships has invalidated that speculation. Sentry drones appear to be highly prized by certain spaceships. They are more closely associated with social specimens that eschew fleets, but they have been seen to function in highly coordinated fleet battles between fleets competing for territory and mates.
  • Affect Drones: Affect Drones are found in every type of spaceship. They are small, fragile creatures that never the less have the ability to project distorting effects upon predators. It appears that many spaceships, especially some of the more aggressive cruiser and battlecruiser types prize these drones over attack or sentry types. The debilitation effects are often seen as ambush type spaceships are ferociously attacks. Affect drones, however, show no loyalty and often if left by their partner spaceship will quickly attempt to cohabit with the next spaceship that they find, even if it is one that they just attacked.
Cohabitative:
  • Mining Drones: Mining drones are a completely non-aggressive drone type. They feed off small mineral deposits in asteroids. These drones help to supplement asteroid grazing type spaceships. They are very commonly found associated with domesticated fleets of spaceships. However, it seems that the more organized spaceships often shun these drones suggesting that they have a more parasitic value in the long term.
  • Salvage Drones: Salvage drones can be found associated with almost any spaceship class. They are most common with the Noctis but more and more sightings have been found with battleships. They feed off of wreckage. However, their fragility and lack of defensive abilities causes a high rate of flight loss outside of highly domesticated space.
Sub-Species:
There is a subspecies type of combat drone commonly labeled as fighters and fighter bombers. These drones are a sub-species of drone that bridges the gap between drone and spaceship. While showing all of the attributes of drones they also have an increased size, specialty, and abilities that moves them closer to a non-sentient type of spaceship.

Behavior:
Drones appear to possess a social structure within their colony. They most commonly swarm in flights composed of five individuals. Smaller flights are common but the group quickly loses its effective qualities. Larger flights have also been observed but only in the company of capital species spaceships.

Drones possess little self preservation. It is thought that this is a left over behavior from a time before they inhabited spaceships. However, it has proven useful in their symbiosis with spaceships allowing them to take on larger enemies and prey. Drones do not appear to have a concept of self but instead they are a colony species with the over all safety and prosperity of the flight and spaceship of higher importance than personal safety or comfort.

Despite the social nature of all drones they appear to be easily distracted in combat. The communicative abilities between the drones and the spaceship may be one of subtle language instead of a deeper form of instantaneous communication. That would explain the habits of every type of drone to lose focus and wander away from their spaceships in random, uncoordinated patterns of attack. However, an experienced spaceship can often pull its drones attentions back towards the main target. This appears to be a learned skill observed in the hunting behaviors of older spaceships.

Habitat:
Spaceships. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that abandonment causes a drone to go insane. These drones, separated from their hive mind go rogue. The inadequate diet causes these flexible beings to mutate. Some are labeled as rogue at this point. So far, researchers have not found a way to reverse these effects. Drone colony health is an important part of maintaining a healthy spaceship.

Comments

  1. Notes from Uncle Travelling Noob:

    1. Recent developments in capsuleer camera drones (an entirely seperate species, being wholly slaved to a capsuleer will) came with an odd side effect. Drones would "dance" with these other minor drones in some primitive dominance display. Invariably an unaware capsuleer would become wretchedly ill as his awareness was thrown into this dizzying Dance of Drones.

    2. Inter species flocking. Worryingly Salvage and Attack drones have been seen working together in the same drone fleet. Attack drones providing the fodder for Salvage drones, and Salvage in turn increasing the symbiotic value to the mother ship. A University of Caille study investigating this and claiming emergence of a "tribal, tool using" drone fleet identity was struck down as being racist to those of Minmatar heritage.

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