The Skath

aka The Machines


The Machines are said to have originated when a rogue AI was placed into a fighting machine. The date and location of their creation is unknown, though it is at least several thousand years ago and known to be significantly nearer the galactic core than the Twelve Colonies. The Machines soon began to expand in search of resources — both raw materials and human worlds to enslave.

The Machines have built one hundred plus outpost worlds near the edge of the galaxy, where they have transplanted humans to use as laborers to construct their vessels and other equipment. Outpost worlds are heavily defended. They maintain lines of communication to the mid-galaxy where there are hundreds of worlds acting as communication and transport hubs between the core and the outpost worlds. Approximately seventy of the hub worlds are inhabited by humans, and most of those are on the far side of the galaxy from the Colonies. Given the scale of the outer rim and the mid-galaxy, these outposts and hubs are separated by vast amounts of space.

The primary stronghold of the Machines is near the galactic core. Their primary command and control is known to be here, along with the majority of humans in the galaxy, all living under enslavement and careful societal control. The Arpay theorize that the Machines use the slower time scale near the galactic core to maintain consistent leadership and direction over the long term.

The Arpay report that the Machines have not spread to other galaxies.


The Arpay have described the Machines as a 'galactic super predator.' The Machines overall goal is unclear, and may be as simple as maintaining their place as the dominant lifeform in the galaxy. They expand as they locate new resources for mining and construction. In the instances where the Machines have encountered another synthetic race, the Machines have focused on their complete destruction. The Machines goal for humanity is subjugation and control. It appears the Machines believe they are acting in humanities best interest, but the Arpay also theorize they hold a grudge and are not interested in 'playing nice' with humanity. They do understand what they're doing to the humans they enslave.

Conquered human worlds are reduced to primitive levels of technology and kept isolated, ignorant, and uneducated. Subjugated worlds thus never develop the ability to effectively resist the Machines. The only humans who have avoided enslavement were those who fled, and even that was usually only a temporary reprieve. 'Troublesome' human populations are eradicated. Their goals and methods closely match behavior programmed into the APF by the Cylons — an indication of prior contact between One and the Machines. Select human 'knights' are sometimes given modern sidearms, and while rifles may be issued to loyal troops to suppress dissent it does not appear that the Machines employ human troops on the scale of the APF.

It is unclear why humans are used as slave labor, rather than simply building more machines to perform the same tasks. The Arpay have never identified a limiting resource that prevents them from building more Machines, though they would have overrun every corner of the galaxy long ago if there were not some limiting factor.

The Machines are actively seeking the Arpay homeworld.

Appearance & Capabilities

Much of Machine technology is very similar in appearance to that fielded by the Cylons during the Second Cylon War. The degree of similarity is too close to be coincidence and it is suspected that One passed along Machine designs to the Cylons between the wars. Known Machine technology is completely mechanical / robotic / AI driven. While there are rumors of cybernetic Machines none have ever been confirmed.


Ground Forces

Machine 'Walkers' are humanoid robots about 8.5 feet (~2.9m) tall. The Walkers are flat black, with a rank insignia on their chest plates that is visible only in the IR spectrum. Their 'eyes' are three round green optical sensors in a triangular arrangement that extend their vision to most wavelengths from infrared to just below ultraviolet. Their IR sensors are capable of detecting a freshly fired weapon under clothing. The basic model is armed with a light machinegun in each arm as well as retractable claws and hooks. Some models have built in flamethrowers. Standard Walker armor is somewhat lighter than the Cylon Centurion, as they are designed more for mobility and controlling a low tech human population. The Arpay theorize that the AI controlling each Walker is a fully sentient individual, and that the rank insignia denotes both hierarchy and relative intelligence.

The Machines employ a full range of ground combat vehicles, including transport, AFVs, artillery, and AA vehicles. These vehicles are crewed by Walkers rather than being AI controlled themselves. They are nearly identical to those employed by the Cylons during the second war, and their capabilities are roughly the same. Despite their larger size the Walkers are able to fold themselves into a compact space, making their ground vehicles comparable in size to human and Cylon.

Space Forces

Their space fleet is estimated to contain some 200,000 capital ships, with over 1,000,000 small craft. Machine capital ships cover all classes from small patrol vessels to supercarriers twice the size of our Mercury class Battlestars. All Machine spacecraft are sleek and black. However, Machine ships /do not/ resemble Cylon basestars at all, and are armed with both guns and missiles.

Machine fighters resemble Cylon Raiders, but are better armed and armored, with a more aerodynamic nose and larger wing surfaces. Their 'heavy' version is very similar to the Cylon Heavy Raider.

Machine recon fleets are light and fast, formed around a single major combat vessel. If engaged in battle, Recon fleets will send a ship to summon reinforcements from the closest anchorage planet.



Despite their numerical superiority, the Machines must contend with both the vastness of the galaxy and the time dilation that occurs nearer the galactic core. Gathering a large force requires significant time and resources. The largest fleet the Machines have ever assembled against the Arpay is approximately 500 capital ships.

Attacking the Machines communication hubs is a viable strategy. Traffic will be re-routed once the failure is noted, but it does slow their response. The Arpay have mapped how information flows through the Machines communications network, but are unable to read any of their traffic due to the same quantum encryption methods they themselves employ.

The primary Arpay strategy for combating the Machines is to attack the Space Lines of Communication between the mid and outer worlds while evacuating as many humans as possible out of the path of Machine exploration.

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