Hi, everyone. Thanks for reading. I’m excited to introduce my most ambitious project yet, a set of four spaceships that combine to form a war robot (cyborg–I’ll explain later). As I’ve claimed from the beginning, I build fiction as I build Lego toys/sculptures, and that process has led me out of insecurity and paralysis to the ability to write novels.
In this story, Earth 2067 has lost in a space race to the Antarans from the Antares system (people much like us, but more capitalistic and competitive. They have olive skin, and stand a full foot higher than the average human). The race was the first to discover hyperspace travel, then to race in hyperspace searches for Eradas, the planet rich in the mineral required for manufacture of the fuel for hyperspace travel. Ethercyte. The planet Eradas also is rich in minerals needed for manufacturing spaceship hulls and interiors, giving the winner of this race a huge competitive advantage. Humanity seemed to be at a permanent disadvantage on two materiel fronts in a inevitable war for control of the adjacent systems. First contact was not to be a peaceful one, but one driven by control of resources.
Humanity was never idle though the space race, and developed as countermeasure for dealing with the large Antaran capital ships a cybernetic advantage in their starfighter pilots. Antares would expend expeditionary forces to test the mettle of Earth’s defences and see wether they should be conquered outright, or left to languish without resources from Eradas into insignficance and eventual servitude.
Humanity learned through endless internecine battles on their own sphere that the meeting of man and machine in a cybernetic relationship was the key to fielding dominating space forces capable of repelling combatants without this advance. Men and women with a high ability for rapport with machine intelligences (people with psychic abilities as well as high situational awareness) were brought forward in Earth’s united military, EarthForce, and groomed as pilots for starfighters with which the pilots could interface their very minds. Hand and foot controls were still a necessity, a crutch for incipient cybernetic brains and personalities.
By 2073, Earthforce released the Warborg Initiative: four pilots chosen for their psychic abilities not only to interface with their ships but also with each other. Their ability to interface with each other’s minds and machines simultaneously is what allows four pilots to coordinate their thoughts to operate the Warborg, the cyborg comprising the four pilots and fighters reconfigured into a humanoid war machine designed to demolish capital ships with melee attacks with fists, fighter-based energy weapons and missiles, and the Warborg’s Death Scythe, a blade augmented with a nearly indestructible, yet initially malleable (giving it it’s razor sharp edge) alloy, kirium. The scythe shatters anything it comes into contact with at the molecular level, causing its strikes to seemingly cause explosions of its target on contact. Here is the Warbot.
Warborg’s component starships and starbombers
Black One (space superiority fighter): Black One is piloted by Lieutenant Shelly Danvers. It forms the right lower leg of Warborg. Once starfighters and starbombers are merged into Warborg, Shelly acts as gunner for the Warborg, operating all the integrated ships weapons which are almost all fully functional in Warborg mode.
Black One’s role on the team is to clear the surrounding space of defensive enemy starfighters launched from capital ships. She has the firepower and range with her weapons to eliminate most enemy fighters before they can engage her. She has a pinpoint targeting system enabled by her wide wingspan mounts to destroy at a great distance.
Yellow Two, piloted by a Kyle Chan, a star interceptor, is designed to move ahead of the combat group with its superior speed and break up advancing fighters launched from capital ships into smaller groups that could be destroyed by the following Black One, only slightly slower, but heavily armed, armoured and shielded and able to weather combat even while heavily outnumbered. Yellow Two is the by far the fastest and most maneuverable of the Warborg starships and makes for an almost impossible target to lock onto. Chan has undergone surgery to install skeletal reinforcements and chemically enhanced organs to enable him to withstand the crushing G-forces that Yellow Two generates during its more daring maneuvers.
Chan’s role in the Warborg mode is to follow intuited directions from Dara Heims, pilot of Blue Three, many of which come directly from the team leader and de facto brain of Warborg, Captain Mask, operating the legs and torso of Warborg in harmony with the upper body functions which are direct inputs from Captain Mask.
Blue Three: Blue Three is a heavy-assault starfighter. Piloted by Dara Heims, Blue Three is perhaps the most unique design in form as well as function, both as a functional part of Warborg, and as an independent starfighter. Blue Three has a recessed cockpit built into the deep body of the fighter, and her protruding weapons platforms carry two heavy laser batteries, each capable of penetrating enemy shields in a single shot and wreaking heavy damage with each following shot. The weapons platforms are large, because they each carry independent power generators and reactors to keep the heavy weapons firing at a decent rate with minimal recovery time.
Dara Heims is perhaps the most talented psychic on the team. Her role involves the deepest and most complex interface as she relays intuitive commands from Captain Mask to Liuetenant Kyle Chan to keep Warborg’s legs and torso moving Warborg into battle effectively.
Red Four: Piloted by the enigmatic psychic pilot Captain Mask, Red four forms the head, arms, and upper body of the Warborg. Captain Mask is the team leader and leads also the psychic interface the team has worked years to develop. He has the implicit trust of the other three pilots, even though his personal and professional life is mired in mystery. He was a fighter ace before being shot down deprived him of some of his mobility and disfigured him beyond recognition, for which reason he wears a ceramic mask to hide his appearance.
Red Four is a bulky starbomber, with half the maneuverability of the next most manoeuvrable ship of the team. Red Four makes up for this lack of dogfighting ability with the most powerful array of weapons and strongest power source of any of the four ships, resulting in the most powerful weapons, except the heavy lasers of Blue Three, of any ship, and by far the strongest shields and armour. Red Four weathers attacks that would destroy the toughest of an enemy Antaran starfighters.
Following all three fighters at only 65% of the top speed of Yellow Two is Red Four, a starbomber and flying fortress, with enough weaponry and strong enough shields to clean up whatever the first two pilots have left for it. The typical strategy: Yellow Two and Black One to clear the surface laser cannon turrets of the capital ship to allow Red Four to execute a bombing run across the surface of the capital ships. Once this battle plan had been completed, the four ships would combine into Warborg, the gigantic cyborg robot commanded by the captain of the team, Captain Mask. From there, the highly mobile, agile, and destructive Warborg would unleash its scythe upon the capital ship, inflicting crippling damage with every stroke of its kirium scythe.
Here are some images of the Warborg.
The Warborg is able to move with the agility of an athelete when directed without conflict by Captain Mask. Doubts and insecurities about tactics can slow the responses of the combat robot/cyborg.
Warborg has tremendous strength and destructive ability wielding the scythe carried in compartments by each starfighter. It has been known to destroy or disable an Antaran heavy cruiser in minutes within reaching its target after clearing advance superiority fighters.
The Story so Far…
Warborg has engaged in two battles so far against expeditionary forces numbering five Antaran cruisers in the first battle and seven in the second, and each case the Warborg team has successfully routed the attackers. Earthforce has gone to great lengths to find new pilots with psychic abilities to join Earthforce and the Warborg Initiative. As the same time, they are at hard at work designing new Warborg designs to build on the successes of the existing machines.