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Project REDSHIRT - Generation Two

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

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Generation Two Notes:

Generation Two adds the promised Eien Node, polymorphic head and hand coverings, and makes some cosmetic changes to the uniform. Further, it adds two labeled power and data ports to the torso just under the 'ribs'; These are compatible with SDF systems and can allow the unit to restore short-term power to damaged or disconnected systems or relay data past the same. This will also allow the REDSHIRT to function as a booster for smaller items, such as handheld scanners, either augmenting their abilities or increasing data flow by way of their superior through-put. An additional change; Baseline REDSHIRTs no longer have fingernails. 

Generation Three may or may not see a split in operational types; BLUE and GRAY are being considered for medical/humanitarian and intelligence purposes, respectively. Whatever the decision, Gen Two and Three units are some time from actual deployment as Gen One is still undergoing testing; Both are considered Mock-Ups on the current development timeline.

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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 currently 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 - Officers are expected to tend to their own personal needs. 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 androgynous 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 - the shoulder 'lamp' (provided to assist biological officers) is a multi-spectrum emitter - but will typically carry standard infantry weaponry as well as body armor. 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 Two 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 will add 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 will be 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. 

As a secondary note there has already been some interest in deploying the REDSHIRT uniform with appropriate visual modifications to interested personnel. The plethora of pockets and pouches has found a certain appeal - as well as the built-in shin and knee guards - with both Exploration Command and Engineering staff, who frequently find themselves needing to carry more than they otherwise have room for. 
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