Spheroids are a curious species. They are all, as the name suggests, spheres. Their surfaces are able to pick up and transmit almost any frequency of light and sound which they use to communicate with anything and everything. Any limitations their bodies have they build tools, machines and sensors to overcome, using their fine-tuned telekinetic powers. Spheroid song is regarded almost unanimously as one of the most beautiful things in the known universe.
While alive, they bear no resemblance to any other life anywhere, as they were made artificially by a technologically advanced species that now no longer exists. With the loss of their old masters, Spheroids began seeking out new masters amongst the stars by latching onto radio communication signals. Some splinter groups believe that Spheroids should be free, but being programmed to serve, it is difficult to break the mould.
Spheroids then prove a valuable workforce for many civilizations. The Akonian civilization is no different. From personal servants to industrial units, Spheroids are everywhere. In Tempesta Caelestis, mining for Chronodermis is the largest industry, and spheroids in their thousands are employed in it. Cryo Minor is the largest site for it, but much of it is found in inner space asteroids. Kathaman is one of these.
MATRIARCH works deep in the caverns of Kathaman Mine among workers both akonian and spheroid. Her laser and heavy claws allow large amounts of rock to be moved quickly. She is Neutral - the rarer spheroid gender that is responsible for manufacturing more of its kind - and shares a role akin to "clanmother" of the mine's spheroid population.
What few are aware of is that MATRIARCH is a believer in Spheroid Freedom. The Vibrant Eye is campaigning for her release, where she will be purchased and then sold to herself. Being a wise spheroid, she knows to keep a few well-hidden weapons in her rig with which to defend herself or escape if need be...
Dual Projectile Cannon
These unfold from the sides of the rig where they are normally disguised as life-support equipment intended for the Spheroid Incubation Unit. They can fire about three heavy metal bullets each before being depleted, but that is hopefully all that is needed. Like with her Laser and Tri-Blaster, these can be pointed backwards.
After jettisoning the rig's left hand (possibly doing some rocket-punching in the process), her triple-barreled laser gun is revealed. This has a much higher capacity for damage than even the laser, though it can also be tuned to "stun" frequencies.
Her blades and claws are designed for breaking through rocks. They're powerful too.
Built into the rig's back leg is a machine that integrates with the mine's power supply. This is where she recieves the energy for her mining laser and various other functions. It also means that she is rooted to the power supply and in disconnecting, her energy weapons would be useless. The Tri-Blaster contains powerful capacitors for just this reason.
Gigantic, to allow for a Neutral, the cockpit is lined with sensors that respond to her commands. Red nerve cables also radiate out from here for easier control of various components. The green line contains vital fluids for both her nourishment and for supply to the Spheroid Incubation Unit.
Spheroid Incubation unit
The Spheroid Incubation Unit is something like a "spheroid egg", though it can create a lot of spheroids before wearing out. It integrates with various necessry systems from a neutral. While connected, the neutral can augment and manipulate development of the new spheroid into one of many "Byte" types. If fertilised by a Positive and a Negative, the SIU will produce a baby spheroid instead of a byte. The Neutral still dictates many of the characteristics the baby will have.
MATRIARCH is not the only neutral in the mine, nor is she the oldest or biggest, but she is the most charismatic. More +/- pairs come to her than any other neutral, so her young are almost always intelligent spheroids instead of animalistic bytes.
Project: MATRIARCH has been waiting to be built for over a year now. The mining laser, shoulder pieces and Spheroid Incubation Unit were all built ages ago, though with slightly different ideas on how they would be integrated. Then other projects took over. When I decided to join the Bio-Cup 2012 I had basically given up on ever building it. Then Round 4 gave me a theme I could actually fit her into. :) She takes a lot of cues from my previous megabuild, Telossen.
Structure-wise, I never intended MATRIARCH to be humanoid, and I'm really happy with how the body shape came out. Thanks to the number of reinforcements in her legs, and the fact that she is a tripod, she is actually one of my most stable MOCs to date!
Designs re-used are a variant on Witch Doctor's hips, a variant on Krahtorak's hand design, and the SIU's design is based off an old MOC called the Golden Fire Lotus. Unfortunately, the lotus, along with its builder's account, is long gone now.
The hardest part to pull off was probably the waist connection, which uses a balljoint-reinforced gear function based around a turntable to allow waist movement without MATRIARCH flopping around and falling sideways.
MATRIARCH is my second neutral Spheroid. Epsilon was the first. Epsilon was the first spheroid period, though. I've come a long way since then, and so has spheroid canon. The Bytes were Clockwork Tempest's idea, inspired by the spheroids and then integrated with their storyline. The Spheroids themselves owe homage to Archeogenis, Mysterions, MAOX and other big MOCpages-y sci-fi things.
Group shot with Jihahli, Beta, Mezzinus (also my secondary self-MOC), Femtabyte and General Omzhare. These are all my Tempesta Caelestis characters currently built and posted. Harren still needs a few greebles adjusted before her revamp is ready to be shown. :)
And the obligatory shot with my previous entries to the 2012 Bio-Cup, Bennus the Trader, Senkhrast the Lurker, Tenum and Kahu and Lehvak. I wish good luck to all five of you, especially Banjax. I'm glad to have gotten this far, and I'm really, really looking forward to what comes next.
Also, I have a pretty good idea for this month's BCBS... :D
Oh man I love this thing. I have not yet built a large scale moc, and someday I plan to. Wait, I know what to build. But seriously, getting that ginormous ball to fit as an eye-type thing? incredible! I have seen the bytes before, but I didn't know they were based off of your Spheroids. This is just incredible Gringat, you, are, a GENIUS!!
She's a work of beauty with all her hidden goodies not to mention being a loving mum! I also enjoyed the backstory on her. I might like to try and build something similar one day. I'll let you know when I come up with something worth while.
Hmm I think the judges are gonna have (hopefully) a hardtime judging these because my entry is humanoid. Well awesome work I wouldnt be too dissapointed if I lose especially to this wonderfull creation, anyway good luck Gringat.
Awesome entry. I think the insertion of more hidden weapons could have been helpful for this round, but the build itself more than makes up for it. The head is ingenious (nice use of that mindstorms nxt ball!) and the torso and legs look very nice and also supremely sturdy. Banjax is gonna have a tough entry to beat; great job!