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Geth (legion)

We are many for we are Legion.

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Kajii

Description

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History of the Geth.

The geth were created by the quarians as a labor force. Wary of rebellion by intelligent AIs, the geth were designed as VIs, as advanced as possible while remaining non-sentient. They were also designed to operate more efficiently when networked together. Unfortunately, this feature was the quarians’ undoing. Geth programs were indeed non-sentient individually, but slowly gained sentience through the massive main geth network. Eventually, they started asking the quarians questions only sentient beings would think to ask, like “Am I alive?” or “Does this unit have a soul?” Alarmed at this, the quarians decided it would be best to shut down all geth before they conceived of revolt. The attempt failed, and a war began between the geth and the quarians, which geth afterwards referred to as the Morning War. The war ended with the surviving quarians forced to evacuate their home world and colonies in the Perseus Veil in a massive fleet called the Migrant Fleet.

Little is known about the geth in the time between the Morning War and the present. The geth did not repopulate the now barren quarian worlds, instead choosing to exist in the computer hubs aboard massive space stations and extract needed resources from asteroids. They adopted an extremely isolationist attitude- any ships that ventured into geth space were immediately attacked and destroyed. While they prevented any contact by other races with themselves, the geth monitored communications and the Extranet. The geth continued development of new technology and variations of mobile platforms, separating their technology base from the rest of the galaxy. They obtained an ultimate goal in this time period- to create a Dyson Sphere, which could house every single geth program.

Approximately three centuries after the Morning War, the geth were approached by the Reaper Nazara, also called Sovereign. It offered them technology that would aid them in achieving their goal, in exchange for their assistance in capturing the Citadel and letting the Reaper invasion begin. The majority of the geth dismissed the offer, deeming it better to accomplish their goal with their own technology rather than be dependent on another race’s technology. These geth discarded what they called the “superstitious title” of the Reapers, and simply called them the Old Machines. A small percentage of geth, however, accepted the Reaper’s help. Henceforth these geth were referred to by the mainstream geth as “Heretics”. They were allowed to peacefully leave the main geth network, and aid Nazara and its turian agent, Saren. The Heretics came to revere Nazara as a god, the pinnacle of their own evolution. Nazara in return thought little of the Heretics, seeing them only as tools to be used. They aided Nazara and Saren in many engagements, such as the attack on Eden Prime, and the Siege of the Citadel. After Nazara was destroyed in the latter battle, the Heretics lost much of their menace, and their operations outside of the Perseus Veil were quickly mopped up by Council forces. The Heretics did maintain operation of a large space station within the Terminus Systems, located in deep space between stars.

The true geth became interested in Commander Shepard, as Shepard had defeated Nazara and the Heretics. They commissioned a unique mobile platform, holding 1183 programs rather than the normal hundred or so, to operate independently and go looking for Shepard. This geth retraced Shepard’s footsteps, from Eden Prime to Virmire to Ilos. During this time, the geth sustained considerable damage, and used a discarded piece of Shepard’s N7 armor it found to partially repair the damage. It tracked Shepard all the way to the crash site of the SSV Normandy, where the trail went cold—Shepard had died there. The geth was reassigned to a different task.

Though the Heretics had faced a major setback with the defeat of Nazara, they did not rejoin the main geth. Rather, they continued development of a special virus which Nazara had given them, in an unfinished version. This virus could alter the result of a fundamental calculation in geth processes, radically changing their logic and reasoning. Through this change, the virus could force the true geth to accept the Heretics’ conclusion, or it could force the Heretics to accept the true geth’s conclusion. The true geth understood the threat, and sought a way to eliminate the virus. However, the virus was stored on a Reaper data core, which the true geth could not access. To gain an understanding of Reaper technology, the unique mobile platform was sent to a derelict Reaper. Aboard the Reaper, it encountered Commander Shepard, who was on a mission to recover an IFF in order to safely use the Omega-4 mass relay. The mobile platform was brought back to the Normandy SR-2, where it accepted the designation “Legion”. Shepard aided Legion in its mission, going to the Heretic station. Once there, Legion realized that the virus was ready, and could be used to rewrite the Heretics’ behavior. Unable to form a consensus on the matter, Legion left the decision to Shepard—destruction of the station, or the rewriting of the Heretics. They were rewritten and now the Geth are stronger and more advanced then ever.



Models of Geth.


Over time, the geth have evolved into numerous sub-forms — from the diminutive but highly agile Geth Hoppers, to the gigantic, lumbering Geth Armatures. The geth also utilize turrets and drones (rocket, assault, recon and repair drones, specifically). It isn't clear whether these are also AIs — in the same way Geth Armatures are not just tanks but sentient machines capable of learning and problem solving — or simply controlled by the geth.

* Geth Armature − Anti-personnel light walkers capable of launching geth siege pulses. Also possesses shields.
* Geth Hopper − Cyberwarfare and ambush platform, capable of sabotage, overload and radar jamming. Attacks using the geth sniper beam. Light shielding.
* Geth Shock Trooper − Advanced geth troopers armed with the Geth Pulse Rifle, barriers, Carnage and the ability to recharge shields. Resilient to gunfire.
* Geth Sniper − Armed with geth sniper rifles and shielding. Capable of using assassination, specialised for long-range combat. Capable of jamming radar.
* Geth Juggernaut − Similar to geth destroyers. Equipped with geth pulse rifles and rocket launchers. Heavily shielded and very resilient
* Geth Hunter − Stealth troops armed with shotguns and shielding. They possess tactical cloaking devices.
* Geth Destroyer − Equipped with geth pulse rifle and strong shielding. Specialised for close quarters combat, has the ability to charge, and can utilize Carnage. It gains a flamethrower in Mass Effect 2.
* Geth Dropship − Standard troop transport and geth equivalent to a frigate. Extremely resilient to small arms and ground vehicle fire.
* Geth Trooper − Standard geth troops equipped with geth pulse rifles, geth barriers and capable of recharging shields. Has the Geth Shield Boost ability.
* Geth Rocket Trooper − Equipped with geth pulse rifles, shielding and rocket launchers. Utilize both disruptor and scram rockets heavy weapons platforms.
* Geth Prime − Elite geth unit equipped with geth pulse rifle and rocket launcher or siege pulse. Very strong shields and extremely resilient. Improves combat skills of nearby geth.
* Geth Colossus − Geth heavy walker capable of launching devastating siege pulse attacks and machine gun attacks. Extremely strong armour and shields.



Characteristics.



Physically, the humanoid geth resemble quarians—their hands, head shape and legs are similar—which is probably a holdover from their origins. They are described as having 'flashlight heads'. Geth are built of two materials, a large plastic or steel outer shell, and a kind of synthetic muscle tissue that gives Geth Hoppers their incredible agility. It is actually possible for this synthetic muscle to be grafted to organic tissue (Saren Arterius has a grafted geth arm). Geth 'bleed' a white conductive fluid when shot, but they don't have any internal organs or nervous system, so the geth don't feel hunger or pain. The geth are also seen using omni-tools, and have seemingly modified them to heal synthetic wounds.

Part of the geth's success is due to their neural network. Effectively, they 'share' their processing power, distributing low-level processes like motor control and visual identification to free up bandwidth for higher reasoning and complex thought. Geth can't share sensory data—they aren't a hive mind like the rachni—but in large groups they have more to think with. An individual geth has only a basic intelligence on par with animal instincts, but in groups they can reason, analyze situations, and use tactics as well as any of the organic races. An exception would appear to be Legion, a geth specifically designed to operate as an autonomous sentient unit outside the Veil.

According to Legion, each geth is made up of hundreds of programs equivalent to VIs, all operating in parallel with one another to form a kind of emergent intelligence described by EDI as "a thousand voices talking at once". An individual geth is thus more of a "mobile platform" than an actual body; the programs that make up its consciousness are constantly being transferred and downloaded; the mind operating one of these "mobile platforms" might just as easily inhabit a starship body should it need to. Most of the time geth programs can be found residing in server hubs, which function as something akin to the organic equivalent of a city, and can run millions of geth in communion.

As all geth are networked to each other, they may communicate their exact thoughts and ideas at the speed of light. They find organic methods of communication, such as body language and spoken word, to be largely inefficient; the geth are able to communicate their thoughts flawlessly without any fear of misinterpretation. Because of this they have no true form of government and no system of rank. When a matter must be decided upon, the geth communicate all viewpoints of a situation and a consensus is made, the decision being whatever benefits the geth as a whole the greatest.



Warfare tactics.



The key element of geth warfare is surprise. Their sudden and unexpected return from beyond the Veil after three centuries was typical. Shepard describes the geth as perfect ambushers—"they don't move, they don't make noise, they don't even breathe." Their freedom from the need to eat or sleep allows the geth to leave dormant garrison units in ambush at key positions, and the fact they don't feel pain allows them to literally drop units from overhead out of nowhere. Geth can even be packed tightly into crates and left in storage, shutting down their power sources to stay undetected. A tactic particularly favoured by the geth is to set 'distress signals' and then ambush the rescuers; they also turned the freighter MSV Cornucopia into a drifting trap.

The geth use psychological warfare in the battlefield with 'dragon's teeth'. These implements pierce the bodies of dead soldiers, turning muscle tissue into synthetic material, creating a zombie-like monster called a Husk. This severely lowers morale, as their enemy now has to kill fallen comrades.

When geth shut down, they fry their memory cores as a defensive measure, which is probably why geth haven't been successfully captured for study. However, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya was able to retrieve some of the data cache from a deactivated geth, using her quarian tech expertise and quick decisiveness.

Geth weapons and armor are of extremely high quality but are difficult to find.



Psyche.


The geth are reclusive and secretive. This is partly due to their synthetic nature. They have no need to interact with other races because they do not share the same goals, needs or instincts as organic species; they are not driven by the need for food or the drive to reproduce. Comfort is not a concern for them, as geth ships lack gravity, atmosphere or climate control.

According to Legion, geth do not actually live on any of the quarian planets they conquered, and act as caretakers for them instead. They find it more efficient to live on space stations and draw resources from asteroids, though they maintain mobile platforms on the worlds to clear rubble and toxins left by the Geth Uprising or as the geth call it, the "Morning War." Legion likens this to preserving cemeteries and memorials by humans on Earth. However, since geth do not truly die (their memories are simply recorded) Legion speculates they do this for the quarians who died instead.

The only geth who have interacted significantly with organics other than Legion are a sect Legion refers to as "heretics". They are a small group of geth who worship a hyper-advanced but long-vanished machine race called the Reapers, which they see as the pinnacle of non-organic evolution. It is these geth who made their attack on Eden Prime and the Citadel. This group is estimated to consist of about five percent of the total geth population. According to Legion, the geth are content to stay separate from the remainder of Citadel space to "build their own future." This may prove the geth to be less hostile than it was initially believed. The geth claim that all sentient creatures should "self-determinate" without interference, and seek to improve themselves.


Ultimate Goal.


The long-term goal of the geth is the construction of a "mega-structure", a massive mainframe capable of simultaneously housing every existent geth program, thereby maximizing their collective processing capacity. Legion suggests the closest conceptual analogue is a Dyson sphere and, as it poignantly states "no geth will ever be alone." It believes that Sovereign promised the heretics a Reaper body to serve as such a mega-structure.

Notably, however, Legion considers this arrangement a Faustian bargain. The position of the baseline geth is that even if they share an ultimate goal with the heretics, self-determination toward that end has intrinsic value. In other words, the journey is as important as the destination. The heretics are to that effect consequentialistic, where the "true geth" are not. Something ineffable would be lost if the geth—and indeed, all galactic civilization—were merely to evolve along the rigid lines arranged by the Reapers.

So begins...

Geth (legion)'s Story