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Project REDSHIRT Gen 3

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For NationStates; Drawn in GIMP over a croquis with textures from here and there.

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Generation Three Notes:

The introduction of Generation 3 units to the REDSHIRT Project will bring some significant changes. First and most notable is a shift from the Gen 1 & Gen 2 'androgynous' appearance to one that is significantly bulkier. General and limited - respectively - field trials of these units revealed that the slim units were overall judged as 'approachable' despite their generic appearance. By shifting the Gen 3 design to a more imposing appearance the project managers hope that this will create a 'soldier' impression among officers. The heavier body has also resulted in upgraded or additional systems with the Gen 3 now devoting space in both forearms to a core-fed HOBD directional emitter. Additionally the polymorphic materials on both head and hands have been upgraded along with the hands so as to allow a wider variety of supported shapes and functions and a layer of the same material has been added to the chest. This will allow remote users some measure of gender expression; This function is expressly disabled when the unit is not being operated remotely. Unlike the Gen 2 'Uniform', which has been broadly welcomed for use in the Fleet, the Gen 3's look will specifically not be copied. Finally a pair of light drone spheres have been added. These will be operated by the REDSHIRT unit though they can be seconded to other units. These drone spheres are of a new polymorphic design; The sphere can distort into a variety of manipulators and can be used as a remote 'hand' with a reasonable weight limit. 

Gen 4 is expected to bring further refinement of the new design; A feature list is not available at this point. In a mirror of previous experiences the existing Gen 1 & Gen 2 units will be transferred to Allied and Federal militaries for both use and analysis. 

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Project REDSHIRT is a multi-armed research, development, and deployment project laid out by Grand Admiral Erriki with the tactic blessing of the Secretary-General and the other Grand Admirals of the Defense Force. The aim is to design and deploy a Republic version of the Blishi'i United Space Fleet's (BUSF) Fleet Drone utilizing lessons learned from their failed MD-Sm/s Type program. Ultimately the goal is to increase the number of warships and starships in the Republic Fleet exponentially by opening up a much larger number of Command-level positions to already qualified officers by replacing most of the common crew with non-sentient REDSHIRTs. These units will handle most - if not all - of the everyday maintenance and officer support needs currently filed by the most recent graduates from the Republic's Academy system. All of these graduates are educated with an eye towards eventual Command-level positions and rankings and many graduate ready for this responsibility but most find themselves serving in secondary roles waiting for an opportunity to prove their worth or relying on a personal or familiar connection within the Fleet or, more regrettably, simply waiting the years until their mandatory promotion review comes up - if they haven't already left the service.

Under the plan laid out by Grand Admiral Erriki the REDSHIRTs will be more than simple drudges and it should be noted that REDSHIRTS are specifically prohibited from acting as butlers or servants - all officers are expected to tend to their own quarters and grooming. As in the BUSF model they will perform the large majority of secondary duties aboard ship but they will also be the primary ground infantry unit. As robotic soldiers they are faster and more durable than biological infantry and, due to their general humanoid form, they can pilot and command all current SDF systems such as power armor, grav tanks and fighting vehicles, shuttles, and fighters. They are lightly armed and will typically carry standard infantry weaponry to augment this. As part of their electronics package they have a GESTALT theater awareness node and, like the GhostDragon Power Armor System, they utilize multiple II Cores for high-end communications, navigation, and target acquisition and engagement purposes. These will then be augmented and more than likely surpassed by whatever system they are commanding; While they are considered expendable, they are designed to not be utilized as such.

The Generation Four REDSHIRT is already in the planning stage with additional input expected from Fleet and Academy experimental deployment, as well as a seconded deployment to select TYCS units and a somewhat controversial deployment to a BUSF liaison unit in the Sol Theater. Gen Two adds an Eien Node for both cognitive and engram replication into the Prime Universe if needed as well as make select refinements to both the appearance and function of the unit. The purposefully blank-faced head covering has been upgraded to an advanced polymorphic to support this; When acting as the Prime Extension of a Eien-based individual, the visual appearance of the head as well as the texture and color of the hands will be able to change to reflect that of the operator. The 'uniform' as well as the regular dimensions of the unit will not change; These will remain hard limits so as to reinforce the notion that REDSHIRT units are not people. 
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