This is the first bit of My Writings. Again I don't really know if anyone actually cares but I've developed these things to death and probably will never get to show off in the story lines half the information about them (maybe even less if I succeed in my hopes of cutting back on info dumps). So I'm just putting the general ideas behind them up so it doesn't all waste away on my PC's hard drive never seeing the light of a monitor.
An offshoot of Skeleton designs, the Golems are another series of walking tanks, though the significant differences between Skeletons and Golems are worth mentioning, particularly the Skeleton's complete obsolete status in comparison to Golems.
Golems are about the same size as a standard Skeleton, standing roughly seven to eight meters in height and having a general humanoid construction. The materials used in their construction vary but generally consist of various types of carbon fibers and armor alloys as well as a cold fusion reactor that is usually the size of a full grown adult male.
Golems are difficult to control and take fast reflexes to effectively pilot. Selection of operators is intensely rigorous. Few humans possess within them the capacity to control Golems. The use of cybernetics has improved control along with various methods of thought transfer. Another problem is known as “Disproportion Sickness.” Golem operators can have a great deal of trouble judging distances due to the need for a Golem to see through cameras and the Golem’s own disproportion’s (they are not built to human proportions most of the time. Many had longer arms than human’s have.). This causes many problems in harsh combat situations, and pilots often experience nausea when operating their machines for long periods of time due to the disproportionality.
In modern warfare, Golems, like tanks or horses before them, are thought of as kings of the battlefield. A well piloted Golem is worth an entire company in combat. Many Golem pilots are drawn from the new Nobility, but it is more common for most feudal lords and vassals to draw their Golems from mercenary forces, such as the Ronin. Most nations cannot outright afford their own Golem forces and those who can can only maintain a wing or two (a wing contains 4 Golems).
The first generation (003) of Golems consisted of nine prototypes produced by the Colonial Federation Marine Corp. The first of their kind, these state of the art machines were designed by Leonardo Erwin and Missy Erwin on a military research facility on Taurus VII. Golem design has changed little since the first generation save for a few areas such as control and power regulation. The fundamentals have remained the same for a long time, helped by the technological inaptitude of the post Five Alliance humanity.
Unique is that these nine prototypes were controlled by AI’s. Thier reflexes were faster than human pilots and they lacked the various control issues many humans experienced in the operation of Skeletons at the time. However the Z3 incident less than a year after their construction destroyed all but one of the units, and the surviving unit 002 was dismantled and crated up shortly after its recovery. The incident caused AI to lose favor, and this feature was abandoned in favor of better OS and cybernetic controls in later generations.
While many skeletons at the time used treads on their feets, the first generation of Golems introduced anti-gravity technology to hover of the ground and to propel themselves, improving speed but making traditional means of powering already power-starved skeletons impossible. Due to this, a new cold-fusion reactor was designed to fit into their frames. With the power issue solved Golems greatly surpassed Skeletons, and was used to great effect during the Galactic War and the Patriot Wars.
The second Generation (013) was used during the Galactic War between the Colonial Federation and the allied Colonial American Union and Chinese Confederation. Roughly a decade after the destruction of the first generation Golems, the Federation deployed second generation Golems against the ACU and CC but one of the units was shot down an captured early in the war. Towards the wars end both the ACU and CC began deploying their own Golems, and via subterfuge the designs were leaked to both the Neo-Soviet Alliance and the New European Union.
The second generation changed little in comparison to the first, featuring little more than an improved OS for human pilots and the use of so called "dumb AI" to interpret human brainwaves. The great change in Golem design would only come in the Third Generation just before the Patriot Wars and the collapse of the Five Alliances.
The third generation (The Immortals) of Golems were finished just before the Patriot Wars and the collapse of the Five Alliances. This is the generation that is currently in use in the new Galactic Era.
The third generation of Golems used the anti-gravity technology of the first and second to flight enable the Golems. Originally, full flight drained too much power, and was impractical. It drew too much energy from the reactor and put a great deal of strain on the Golem’s power distribution network (experiments during the Galactic War often ended in catostrophic system overloads and explosions to the point the idea was abandoned for nearly three decades). Rather ingeniously, technicians from Eternity Ship Yards in the Colonial American Union built the ESY-301 Rebellion. Using a buffer system, the reactor feeds extra energy into a reserve power cell, which is cut off from the rest of the network.
Put into production just before the Patriot Wars, this enabled limited flight of Golems without hampering the rest of their power system. The reserve naturally drains faster than it fills and runs out with time, prompting a landing. Generally a Golem designer aims for fifteen to twenty minutes of full flight before the pilot is forced to land, allowing quick airborne strikes and insertions. More recent in the Galactic Era, Golem designs like the Eternity SY-305 Defiance, popularly known as the "Immortal," and the Goliath G88P Adams - mass produced as the G88 Washington - are capable of flying for around thirty minutes without a need to land, and can refill their reserves in roughly fifteen minutes. In practice pilots limit themselves to about five or six minute bursts of flight, as the reserve fills faster when it is not completely empty, and it boosts the Golem’s combat longevity. This tactic of limited flight time, landing to refill the reserve, and flight again is popularly called "Frogging."
The third generation saw the first introduction of diversity in designs. Blackwell Industries in the NEU introduced the first reverse leg-joint Golems, such as the Wolverine. Though, there were reverse joint skeletons prior. In the Galactic era, the elite military force of Valhalla in the Rim, the Valkyrie, also produced a rather unique quadrapedal design called the Fenrir (though there are known control issues with the quad leg system). The Sacred Band has produced another unique design called the Ba'al, with an abnormally large right arm that houses s very short range particle cannon, capable of destroying all but the most heavily armored Golems instantly.
Since the creation of third generation Golems, most technological advancement has ceased. In the Post-Five Alliance civilization, humanity lacks the resources or technical skill to develop new technologies beyond what they already have. Most of the major advancements before the Succession War were not original but leftovers from the Five Alliances. The Orbital Elevators, Carriers, and the Golems are all examples. Golems with time effectively become hereditary, as they are expensive to build and produce and pricey to maintain. The Rebellion has been in use since the Patriot Wars, as have dozens of other designs, making it well over 580 years old by the time of the Succession War.
In a classic case of stagnation, the knowledge and expertise to maintain humanities current level of technology is a struggle but possible. The knowledge, ingenuity, and resources to develop new technology however does not exist. The current feudal political state is also counterproductive to new technological advancement and a new slew of galactic level warfare also threatens to further set back the hopes of rebuilding human civilization, which could be said to be in a downward spiral since the collapse of the Terran Empire.
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