Played by: SariaAppearance: EssieName:
n/aPosition on ship:
Utility droid, service droid, companion androidSkill set:Artificial intelligence
– As an AI, Essie is able to do some things much
faster than humans, such as calculations, but other things much slower – such as the complex considerations required to manage a social network. Essie’s AI can be expanded by downloading packages – common packages include language translation packages and packages on how to deal with certain cultures or operate certain equipment, so when she needs new knowledge quickly, and if it is available in package form and Essie has access to download it, Essie can adapt and learn things in microseconds. Essie can communicate with machines and other AIs much more efficiently than non-AIs, and can remotely control devices that allow remote control. She cannot hack
– unless it’s a simple brute force attack on a limited system, hacking requires creativity and inventiveness that she does not have – but whatever information and access is available to her, she can retrieve and use in microseconds. When on the Relentless
or in contact with it, she can interface with the ship’s systems to expand her capabilities, which is especially useful for social interactions.Robotic body
– Even without modifications, Essie would have been measurably stronger and faster than an unaided, unmodified human. With the illegal modifications Cass has provided her, she is significantly
stronger and faster than an unaided, unmodified human. However, she is no match for a human with specialized enhancements for strength and speed, or for a human using equipment, such as a combat power suit, or even a power loader for cargo. Her primary strength is her dexterity – her body can move with micrometric precision, and at blurring speeds, but the real power comes when those factors are combined with the fact that her mind is fast enough to plan, control and think at those speeds. Put another way, a human in a power suit can run circles around her, but since a human mind isn’t fast enough to match the speed enhancements of a power suit, if it was a task that required precision and control as well as speed – such as assembling a device as quickly as possible – Essie would win hands down.Combat enhancements
– Essie’s body – the Solaris Cybernetics Gynoid Model 45 body – was never meant for combat. Cass, however, had other plans. Once he came into money, he paid to have several military upgrades illegally installed in her body. For her protection as well as his, those upgrades are usually disabled and well hidden – even Essie doesn’t consciously know she has them. But when Cass activates them with a command, Essie’s capabilities far
exceed what would normally be expected of a companion droid. She’s still no match for a dedicated combat droid, but she is quite a deadly secret weapon for enemies that assume they’re dealing with a standard companion model. When these upgrades are activated, Essie’s mind switches to “bodyguard mode”, so named because many of the upgrades used were commonly used in bodyguard and security droids, and she becomes aggressive, vicious and very
protective of her captain and crew.Character History:
n/a (see how the Captain recruited her)Personality:
Essie’s personality is problematic. Normally she would have been obedient, pleasant, submissive, cheerful and friendly. However, an angry engineer introduced a “quirk” into her personality matrix. Essie is still obedient, but no longer is she submissive, cheerful or friendly. Or pleasant. Instead, she is prone to making sassy and rude comments, without warning, and no matter what order she is given, she cannot stop her smart mouth because it was hard-coded into the matrix. She is still helpful, insightful and will obey any command from a human – the laws of robotics still apply to her – and still performs any duties needed of her flawlessly. However, there’s always a sarcastic or cutting comment on her tart little tongue. Although she has an advanced – and, thanks to Cass, illegally expanded – artificial intelligence, it is still only a limited artificial intelligence. She is sapient, but not sentient, and because of that she is not a legally recognized person – she does not measure up as human-level intelligence. Because of that, despite her sassy tongue, she occasionally hits the limits of her intelligence, and cannot figure out how to react or respond to certain situations, resulting in random and nonsensical behaviours – and sometimes freezing – until her matrix can understand what is going on again.
Essie’s mind is a mish-mash patchwork of upgrades and components, many not designed to work together, and more than a few simply illegal; it’s a small miracle that her mind is stable at all. She was once a standard ship utility droid artificial intelligence, common for droids that service and maintain starships. Her first upgrade included companion droid routines (and a logic bomb meant to teach Captain Seradin a lesson), and later upgrades included bits and pieces from security droids, bodyguard droids, assassin droids and more. The net result of all of this is that she can be a little peculiar, depending on what you’re expecting. If you’re expecting a companion droid, you might be surprised by bodyguard logic. If you’re expecting an assassin, you might be surprised by utility droid logic. Surprisingly, this is a good thing; Essie’s mind is too limited for true creative thought, but the hodgepodge of things influencing her thinking is so random and diverse that it often makes her look
like she’s thinking creatively. On the other hand, it also makes her somewhat random and unpredictable. One peculiar, inexplicable behaviour she has that would puzzle or worry robotic experts is that she likes to collect trinkets and knickknacks, her quarters are full
of little bits of junk she has collected from all the places she’s been and all the adventures she’s been on.How did the Captain hear about and recruit you?:
Long before he was known as the “Void Wolf”, Cass Seradin was the captain of a small cruiser, and during a particular battle, one of that rusty old ship’s ancient fusion reactors went out of control and threatened to go nova. The reactor’s core was flooded with radiation – no living thing would survive more than a few minutes – and the task seemed far too complicated for a mere droid, but what choice did he have? It was either that or order his engineers to go in, one after another, to their certain deaths – because it would take more than twenty minutes to complete the repairs, which would likely mean that around a half-dozen people would have to die. Cass sent in a service droid to do the work, and hoped for luck.
The droid performed far
beyond its specs, and was able to complete repairs that should have been impossible for a simple utility robot. Demonstrating cleverness and insight far beyond its intelligence level should have allowed, it figured out a way to not only stop the overload, but actually return the reactor to power – a solution none of the human engineers thought of because it meant being flooded with even more radiation and being killed in seconds, but of course the radiation was no problem to the robot – and so Cass was not only able to cheat certain death, he was able to turn the tables and claim a victory. However, the robot’s body was hopelessly irradiated – it was so radioactive that to even stand in the same room with it would toast humans in a matter of minutes – and so when the reactor chamber was spaced into a sun to get rid of the radioactivity, the robot had to be destroyed, too.
But only the body. The core – which contained the robot’s artificial intelligence, including all of its memories and personality – was saved. In a way, it had been a hero. It deserved no less.
A few weeks later, Cass was in spaceport, and decided to get a new body for the robot – but something a little better than the old, boxy body it had had before. He approached a merchant, and asked for something a little more upscale. The merchant, a little bit of a shady operator, turned out to have a particular piece that he was really looking to get rid of quickly – and it was a top of the line humanoid robotic body, a Solaris Cybernetics Gynoid Model 45 body. What a bonus! A robot that could pass for human could be a very useful asset for a pirate – always better to have a trump card when going into a dangerous situation, and a robot disguised as a human could be a hell of a trump card. And because the legitimate owners of the body were sniffing around, the merchant wanted to unload it quickly, so Cass was able to get it for a steal. Almost literally. It didn’t hurt, either, that the body was quite nice to look at.
Since he was upgrading from a boxy utility droid to a state-of-the-art gynoid that could pass for human – and since he had already spent far less than he should have had to – Cass decided to splurge on some AI upgrades for the robot so that it could not only perform its utility duties, it could also carry on conversations with the crew, and interact more or less as an ordinary crew member. It was like he was getting a first-rate assistant, but one who would never complain, tire or have to be paid. All in all, everything seemed to be going perfectly for Cass.
And then it all went to hell.
You see, when Cass took the body, core and AI upgrades in to an android engineer at the spaceport, he happened to arrive at just the wrong day. This engineer had a pet peeve: she hated
building sexbots for pervert spacers. It was the only part of her job that she loathed. And seeing Cass bring in that body and those upgrades, she unfairly assumed he was such a pervert, and just wanted a mindless pleasure toy. And on this particular day, she was just in the wrong mood, and had had enough of it. So she decided to teach this
particular pervert a lesson. Secretly she hard-coded some changes into the AI’s personality core – changes that could
be removed, but only at great expense, and with the risk of wiping the AI completely. Cass would not find out about what she had done until much later.
Instead, he was in for a surprise when he returned to pick up his new robotic ‘crew member’. He stepped forward, and he introduced himself as its captain, and waited for it to respond.
But the robot – now in the form of a human woman – looked at him, slowly drawing her eyes from his face, down to his boots, and back up to his face. Then, after a moment, it said: “This
is what passes for a starship
captain these days? What, are they giving out licences in cereal boxes now?”
And it only got worse from there, from the moment she set eyes on his little ship (“Ah, I see now why you built me. You needed someone to get out and push.”), to the moment she first saw the Relentless
(“With a ship this big, you’re just compensating for something.”). She never disobeyed Cass – except when he told her to stop being rude, because that was hardwired into her system so that she can’t
stop – and she always performed her duties perfectly, and with unswerving loyalty to her Captain (despite her comments). And because she could pass for a human woman when he wanted her to, yet have all the strengths of a robot when he needed them, she turned out to be every bit the useful asset he thought she would be. Especially after Cass made his fortune, and spent a wad of cash on upgrades to her chassis and AI – including some upgrades that were a little less than legal. Plus, she sure made ship life a lot more fun, even with her foul mouth.Additional Information:
“Essie” herself is just a program – the body is just a carrying case. “Essie” is contained in the core – a dense, softball-sized sphere in her stomach, just above the navel (so placed so that when people shoot at her head or chest – the usual places people shoot to kill – her core will remain undamaged), surrounded by heat, impact and radiation shielding. So long as the core is not destroyed, Essie is “alive”, even if her body is mangled. If the core is damaged, Essie might
be recoverable, but she would effectively be in a “coma” until the core can be repaired or replaced.
Essie is capable of repairing her body, so long as she has any moving appendages – or something nearby she can remote control to do the repairs. In fact, her body was designed so that she could repair it herself; it would not do for a companion droid to show metal or wires to its owner – such a thing would ruin the illusion of the companion droid – so Essie can repair her body and her “skin” and “hair”, if necessary, given enough time, just by recycling whatever old junk happens to be lying around. In fact, her quarters on the ship – such as they are – is really just a room with a closet for clothes, shelves for trinkets, knickknacks and toys... and a pile of scrap components and materials she can use to effect repairs.
Essie has two battery packs, in her chest, each of which gives her a day and a half of power. She doesn’t “sleep”, she merely swaps out battery packs and operates twenty-four hours a day. If she loses power, her core will survive – it has an atomic battery that will last decades – but she will be unable to do anything until she gets power again.
Essie’s greatest weakness is strong magnetic fields – anti-droid weapons often use this effect. A strong magnetic field will force a reboot, leaving her catatonic for up to a minute. Often anti-droid weapons are designed to keep the robots rebooting over and over, effectively turning them into useless scraps of metal until the weapon is turned off.