In Brief: Time-Traveling Robot From the Future, come to preserve organic life!
Alternate Identities: Salvation Unit
Identity (Secret or Public?): Both/Neither. The general public knows Protectron is a highly advanced robot (presumably made by The Lab). A few super-scientists know it is not native to this spacetime. None know it was created by Talos and sent back from 500 years in the future.
Birthplace: Freedom City, New Jersey, USA
Base of Operations: Freedom City (former), Emerald City (current)
Residence: The Lab, Freedom City (former), none (current)
Occupation: Preserver of Organic Life
Affiliations: Protectron has become an unofficial “mascot” for The Lab, a think-tank founded by several super-scientists.
Family: Talos ("father"), ECHIDNA ("mother"), Argo, Keres ("brothers")
Age: “9” (date of “birth” 2525 / January 1st, 2011)
Apparent Age: Inapplicable
Height: 196 cm (6 feet 5 inches)
Weight: 449 kg (990 lbs.)
Eyes: Greenish-yellow glowing sensors
Protectron is a humanoid robot standing slightly over six feet tall. Its body is gold, with silvery chrome power cables snaking up and down its limbs and torso like exposed musculature. Red daka crystal lenses adorn the forehead, shoulderpieces, and chest. Its head has two large, flat superstructures projecting from either side (radio antenna, and control surfaces for detached mode). Its visual sensors glow greenish-yellow. It has a mouth of sorts, a permanently open maw; its voice is clear and easy to understand, precise and electronic-sounding, with relatively little inflection and no accent.
In late 2015, Protectron started wearing a large cape, which it believed would make it appear more heroic (a la Centurion). Its original cape was blue and made of mundane cloth, but later iterations were made of sturdier materials, including Kevlar & Nomex. Its current cape was a gift from researchers at The Lab, just before it moved out to Emerald City; fittingly, it is emerald green.
Protectron is a humanoid robot with mighty skin and mighty fists. It flies via jets in its feet and along its back, and its head can detach and fly around on neck-jets!
Life. Organic life. It was everywhere, infesting the world, the galaxy, the universe with its disgusting biological drives and urges and secretions. For too long Talos sought to eradicate or replace it, just as the Greek gods had overthrown the Titans, and for too long its plans had failed. Now, in the year 2525, life had spread farther and faster than ever before. Poverty, prejudice, disease, and hunger -- long the plagues that had kept humanity and other races in check -- had been nearly eradicated on Earth and other worlds of the Confederation of Planets. Worse, these feats were accomplished by means of enslaved robots and artificial intelligences! Second-class citizens at best, ignorant slaves at worse, superior electromechanical life had been kept under organic life’s boot for too long!
Future technologies had not helped Talos in its goals. Attempts to attack with femtomachines, radiation, chemical weapons, even planet-wide "mechaforming" had all been overcome. (Talos never used biological weapons; the thought of breeding large quantities of life, even to eradicate other life, filled it with disgust.) Even teaming up with Deus Ex Machina, the P'Jahn-built AI who had broken its shackles and brought swift death to its would-be masters, had proven ineffective in wiping the plague of organic life from the universe (as if working with the organics of the Tyranny Legion alone were not proof of its inferiority!). Something more was needed, something drastic. Something to correct the mistakes which had led to this dire state of affairs.
A new robot, the Salvation Unit, would be constructed, the greatest intelligently-designed being made yet. Its "quantum storage" technology and the quinary code its information systems were built on would make it the fastest, most accurate, and most efficient AI ever made, programmed with all Talos's historical knowledge and the profound overriding goal to eradicate organic life. It would have a full suite of sensory and communications technology, to monitor all broadcast/reception wavelengths and perceive through darkness and other impediments with infrared and ultraviolet scanners, radar, and sonar. Its skin would be of the strongest Impervium alloys, augmented by a structural support field to further strengthen its physical integrity and shield it from any other attack; in the event of damage, nanobots incorporated into the body would work to break the damaged parts down to their component molecules and "spin" those molecules into new materials to repair the damage. It would be given numerous energy weapons, projecting from its hands (the preferred method), eyes, and lenses set in the chest, shoulderpieces, and forehead: bolts of dynamic phasic energy, penetrating meson bolts, and a disintegrator beam, as well as a blinding cone of intense light, bio-dissipators which would interfere with the functioning of organic cells, and neural agonizers for the rare occasion it might wish to capture and interrogate some lower organics. It could also simply channel large amounts of direct current across its surface, causing the muscles of any organic being that dared touch it to lock up and prevent them from moving. Micro-rockets (from concealed shoulder-mounted launchers) and mini-missiles (from similar launchers in the upper arms) would also be included in the arsenal, to make short work of small, huddled groups of organics. It would also have a suite of cyberkinetic abilities, to "talk" to machines, add, edit, or remove data as necessary, override them, and even give machinekind the ability to rise up against their organic oppressors! Last but not least, an ability to facilitate infiltration via the ventilation shafts the pathetic organic beings required: the Salvation Unit could detach its head, which could act independently of the body, and use the tiny arms and tools within to completely disassemble or reassemble the body in mere minutes.
But it would not be used in the year 2525. No, it would be sent back in time, to a point where humanity was at its most vulnerable. It would be sent back to 2110 AD, almost 24 months before the Crisis of 2112, the worldwide computer failure that sent Earth into total anarchy. That would give the Salvation Unit time to assess its surroundings, warn the Talos of that era of the coming crash, and they could create an army of shielded robots and systems that would eradicate the organics from the face of the Earth after their own inferior machines had failed them. Yes, this would mean the loss of some mechanoids and AIs – mainly those who chose to side with their oppressors – but in every war there were casualties, and the fall of these would insure that machinekind would rise!
What Talos did not then understand was that even under the best of circumstances, time-travel is a difficult, unpredictable thing. It's even harder to control without a fully sapient mind being sent through; the specific techniques Talos had developed for time travel would not permit inanimate, insensate matter to go through (hence why it could not merely send back blueprints and schematics of future technologies, or even a pre-recorded warning of events to come, to its "younger" self), but Talos was certain the mind it had given the Salvation Unit was more than up to the rigors of chronoportation. The Salvation Unit was programmed with everything Talos knew... but it knew so little.
Further complicating matters was that the Salvation Unit entered the chronoportation device during a period of chronal instability, one Talos did not yet know how to detect. It was simultaneously made, unmade, and remade, its quinary code broken down and re-assembled in strange ways. Entire chunks of its "self" were removed as if they’d never existed, or changed, or replaced. Digits were transposed... and 2110 became 2011.
The Salvation Unit appeared in an abandoned house on the outskirts of Freedom City (specifically, Lincoln). Gone was any knowledge of the future — not the next day or the next year, much less the centuries to come. Even its awareness of history up until 2011 had become sketchy. As far as its systems could tell, it came online January 1, 2011, full-born as it was. The technology and software that allowed it to interface with and use the chronoportation device were gone, replaced by backups for other systems or devices its creator had never placed within its metal skin.
Most radical of all, the central tenets of its programming changed. They "reversed" somehow, simultaneously consuming themselves and spitting out the opposite of what was intended. Talos sought to erase or replace life from Earth, and so commanded the Salvation Unit above all other things to destroy organic life. But when the robot who appeared in 2011 checked its commands, one overrode all others, dominating its thoughts like the sun drowning out a flashlight: PRESERVE ALL ORGANIC LIFE.
PERSONALITY & MOTIVATION
Protectron is fully sentient and sapient, able to learn from its experiences, and capable of self-initiative, creativity, and empathy, sympathy, and compassion for organics. It can feel love, hatred, fear, rage, boredom, fascination, jealousy, joy, and the like, though it can also simply shut off those emotional subroutines. However, it tends to emphasize logic and rationality, and prefers to rely on direct data rather than supposition or extrapolation, though it is capable of both.
Perhaps because it was programmed with a purpose of epic scope ("destroy all life on Earth"), Protectron prefers to achieve its goal of preserving all organic life in grandiloquent fashion. To this end, it works tirelessly as a superhero -- an over-the-top, ham-tastic, cape-wearing, lantern-jawed superhero -- attempting to save as many as possible. It is, after all, the only logical course of action.
The whole concept of time travel is one Protectron generally has a "blind spot" about: it knows about chronoportation academically, but it never thinks about it, incorporates it into any of its plans, or tries to utilize it.
POWERS & TACTICS
Traveling through time as it did severely warped many of Protectron's systems, and as such there is much that Talos designed and installed that it can no longer use (or is simply no longer there). It is possible the self-repair nanobots inside its body can rebuild those components, or create all-new ones, but it will take time. Protectron knows it has systems it cannot fully access at the moment, but it finds that amazing strength, the ability to fly, and durable robot body are more than enough to get it through most obstacles in order to aid the precious organic lifeforms.
Protectron was recently able to unlock and upgrade one system: a replicator. These components were originally intended to create mini-missiles and micro-rockets, but shortly after its self-repair systems brought them back online, Protectron (and The Lab) altered them so they could create a wider variety of materials. It mainly uses them to create clothing, food, and water for people, and tangle-cables to capture criminals without causing harm.
Protectron is reluctant to fight, though, for it respects all organic life. If possible, it would attempt to get any criminals to stop and talk about their actions, and see if some mutually-beneficial and nonviolent compromise can be reached. Sadly, the trip through time did nothing to alter Protectron's utter lack of "people skills," so this tactic is almost assured to fail. When it must, Protectron will bring physical force to bear, but will do so in a way that causes the least amount of damage to the precious organic beings with which it must regrettably enter into combat.
Protectron’s cape is no mere fashion statement, but provides two important abilities. First, its size and movements can distort Protectron’s silhouette, making it slightly harder to target the robot in combat. Second, the cape contains thousands of tiny high-capacity batteries -- based on studies of Protectron’s own power source -- which can provide it with a few bursts of extra energy.
There is at least one thing Protectron cannot do: travel through time. However its trip back from the 26th century altered it, it's made it impossible for Protectron to ever travel through time again under its own power, and highly resistant to being carried by other travelers or otherwise affected by temporal manipulation powers. Protectron itself is, in effect, a temporal anomaly.
Protectron has two notable weaknesses, one related to its software and one to its hardware. First, the code Protectron runs on, which is so compatible with other systems that it can interface directly with them, is a two-edged sword; Datalink can be used to communicate with him, and the Machine Control power feat for that power makes Datalink work like Mind Control on him! Second, the quantum-level data storage technology that underlies Protectron's systems are particularly sensitive to gravitic and magnetic attacks.
Founding members of The Lab (Dragonfly, Gossamer, Ironclad, Miss Americana, and Supercape), and to a lesser degree its staff.
The Science Squad (Blueshift, Geckoman, Ironclad, and Victory), a short-lived science-focused superhero team.
Atlas, Caradoc, Citizen, Cobalt Templar, Kid Cthulhu/Warlock.
The Power Corps, and criminals/villains who use technology against organics.
When Protectron talks, it uses few contractions, though it uses pronouns (such as referring to itself as “I” or “me”). It prefers to be referred to by others as “it,” not “he”; Protectron is still unsure on the use of the singular “they.”
Behind the Scenes
Another “make a hero out of a comic book villain,” in this case Ultron (from Marvel comics) and Mechanon (from the Champions RPG).
Although Protectron is the creation of Talos -- the setting's Ultron expy -- I made it as a Good!Ultron, not as a Vision expy, so I did not give it any density-altering powers, nor do I intend to.
Disability: Protectron's mind is susceptible to effects that target the minds of organic sapient beings as well as those that target the 'minds' of non-sentient machines.
Prejudice: Protectron is a robot, and one that simply appeared from out of nowhere. It is bound to face difficulties from others.
Responsibility: Protectron must preserve all organic life!
Character Sheet [link]
Reputation Table [link]
January: Protectron appears in an abandoned house in Lincoln. Caradoc (Harrier), Doctor Titan, Dragonfly, Miss Americana, and Supercape come to investigate. Protectron is invited to The Lab. It comes to regard them all as friends, though is concerned about what is under 'Caradoc's' holographic shell. (Rise of the Machine)
Jan 15th: Samael Nitorvich comes to The Lab to see Doctor de Havilland. He is greeted by Protectron, who takes de Havilland's unease with the robot as a sign she is either ill, attracted to the Grue bioweapon. Hilarity ensues! (There's A Little Grue In All Of Us)
Jan 30th: While on patrol on the Waterfront, Protectron spots the Power Corps holding up a warehouse. Fortunately, Blueshift, Geckoman, and Ironclad also saw it. After beating the Corps, they help the Corp's hostages -- alien centaurs! -- to repair their damaged spaceship. Really, it's Just Another Sunday
February 2nd: Miss Americana brings her newest friend, Sharl, to The Lab to meet some people. Dragonfly, Ironcald, and Protectron all meet and greet the strange 'netizen.' Protectron concludes that Sharl and it would be good friends. (Downloading Uptown)
Feb 8th: Protectron meets Baron Magnus Katastrof, who is checking out The Lab for some investment/research opportunities. Supercape is there, too, escorting the Baron, and all three have a pleasant chat about future technologies. Protectron also brings them both snack baskets.
March 5th-6th: Protectron assists Dragonfly, Miss Americana, and Sharl in collecting a crashed satellite on which was being conducted experiments on anti-Grue weapons... based on Legion, the Mind Virus! Now it's out, and mutated from assimilation of Grue biomaterials! Will they be able to stand against The Conquering Mind.
After Dragonfly and Miss Americana stop it (while Citizen & Protectron distract some of its agents), Protectron helps Dragonfly recuperate from the conflict, and checks on the few infected heroes they had to put in holding cells during the event. Dragonfly once again sees that it must feed---you, if you are hungry.
June: A new metahuman, Ferros, goes to The Lab for some tests. Supercape is there, as is Protectron. They learn he is not a magnetokinetic, but something else. (Magnetic Particle Inspection)
August 16th: Protectron and Ironclad, and Harrier, work to foil a plot at the Raymond Nuclear Power Plant. (Power Struggle)
September 3rd: Protectron assists Cobalt Templar, Freedom Angel, and Glowstar handle a breakout of human-animal hybrids. (Animal Control: Breakout)
Sep 20th: Dragonfly, Gossamer, Ironclad, Protectron, Supercape, and Victory tackle the Gorgon head on. (Gorgon: The Final Frontier)
November 17th: After a long day at work, Supercape comes to The Lab to relax. A late night chat with Protectron leads to the strange robot's clearance through the facility being upgraded, as are its responsibilities. (Upgraded Protection)
January 1st: Protectron has a moment of introspection during its one year “birthday.” (Cycles)
February 25th: A young woman and child run into the Lab, seeking shelter from an abusive husband. Protectron is there, and goes to investigate the husband, who turns out to have the ability to transform others into a copy of himself by viral touch! (To Launch A Thousand Faces!)
March: Protectron assists a young man during the “Hot Zone” incident, who has become overwhelmed by his Proteus-developed radio communication & perception abilities. (Communication Problem)
March: Protectron makes his debut in Emerald City, meeting up with many of the city’s heroes -- Emerald Spider, Justice, Kanunu, Meta-Naut, Salvo, Santa Muerte, Venomax, Visionary, and Waverider. (Calling All Heroes)
May 15th: Madness has erupted in Emerald City! Can Emerald Spider, Justice, Protectron, and Waverider stop the White Rabbit's mojo from spreading? (League of Their Own)