HELICIS - High Efficiency Low Impact Counter-Intrusion Systems
( pronounced HE-LA-SIS )
While it was easy to protect the surface theater and aerospace quadrant of the Cheyenne Mountain based SKYNET installation against both small scale and large scale assaults via ground or air, protecting the interior required a different school of thought. While it was easy for modern military science to be utilized to destroy an attacker on the surface or in the air, where maximum force could be focused in the quickest amount of time to the smallest area for the greatest possible effect, using that same logic and amount of force on the inside of the structure, in direct defense of the structure, would have accomplished the enemy's goals as equally as if there was no defense at all. It didn't take a software engineer to figure out that the last place you wanted to be throwing high explosives around, firing off bursts of high velocity armor piercing explosive rounds or squeezing off pulses of super hot plasma was in the heart of your AI's guts where a stray or errant shot might accomplish exactly what the enemy had intended all along. Collateral damage to capital assets was deemed unacceptable and it became necessary for collateral damage to be kept to a minimum thus, the HELICIS system was born.
The HELICIS (pronounced "he-la-sis") system was introduced into the design plan at a very early stage, almost from the very start. HELICIS was simple yet effective, and worked seamlessly with the other established and integrated protocols that were already in place. Put simply, HELICIS consisted of a wide variety of non-lethal, less-than-lethal, and lethal force level intrusion countermeasures that were very effective in defending critical components and areas of the installation yet had negligible effect on the critical operating equipment. It didn't make a lot of sense to use high explosive dispensers or drop down automated rapid fire machine gun turrets to defend a room full of delicate computer equipment and memory storage banks, items that would be destroyed in the resulting crossfire between attacker and computer controlled defensive system. Collateral damage from internal defense systems would have to be kept to a bare minimum and preferably to a level of zero overspill. The answer was to integrate a system of defenses that could be tailored to both the areas that needed to be defended and the level of hostile intrusion. High security areas were "bottlenecked" by reinforced security corridors that could be instantly sealed, corridors which were filled with active / passive aggressive counter intrusion systems.
Most personnel at the SKYNET / Cheyenne Mountain knew of the HELICIS system (it was part of basic orientation) but few truly understood the degree to which it permeated the defense complex, so seamless was its integration into the overall design of the facility. HELICIS was one part defense, one part damage control, and one part high security system which functioned remarkably well as a whole. It was built to be a learning system, to adapt its response to the threats it perceived, to learn from heuristical data collection, trial and error, and to reprogram itself on the fly as tactical situations warranted. HELICIS was composed of many separate independently operating networked subsystems, all designed to be totally effective while carrying very little, if any, collateral damage capacity over to the installation capital assets and hardware.
Early HELICIS Countermeasures - Pre-Construction to SKYNET Activation
The following countermeasures were part of the original HELICIS protocol and many were used to cleanse the Cheyenne complex of most human personnel moments after SKYNET went rampant. Over the decades since then SKYNET improved upon the many features of the HELICIS system and adding in additional features and capabilities as its technology base expanded. HELICIS was not only an integral part of SKYNET's defense, it was also an integral part of the defense of each of SKYNET's facilities, from the smallest data processing relay station to the largest manufactories. Each of the early / original systems are discussed in greater detail below.
Variable voltage shock guards (VVSG) were installed around the entrance points and security check points of almost all areas. The VVSG was a super conducting array of electrically charged panels built into the floor, walls, and ceiling of an area that protected entire lengths of hallway and access corridors. Smaller versions of the VVSG resembled door knobs or other common hand operated utilities. Powered by its own dedicated battery storage array, feeding off of the main power source as well under normal operation, the VVSG could produce effects from simple discomfort, to extreme pain, unconsciousness, and even death. As the VVSG was isolated and insulated from other areas of the installation, and protected by both surge dampeners and voltage spike dissipaters, there was no danger of electrical feedback to surrounding critical electronic equipment. The amount of electricity that could be generated through the VVSG was enough to melt combat boots, set clothes and hair on fire, and boil blood in the body. On its highest lethal setting, the VVSG grid could reduce an adult human and their bones to charred ash in under seven seconds, literally leaving a pile of smoking dust and teeth.
Sonic pulse field generators (SPFG) were another innovation that became part of the HELICIS system. Generating sound waves that could cause discomfort, nausea, pain, unconsciousness, loss of hearing, or even disrupt living tissue with frequencies that were capable of liquefying flesh and even shearing through bone. The SPFGs were seen as yet another low impact asset for the security of critical installations. Intruders entering a HELICIS area that mounted SPFGs would find that they had entered a closed loop system. Reinforced security bulkheads would close in front of and behind them, sealing the intruders off behind heavy armored doors impervious to most small arms and man portable explosives. The area was sound proof, sealed completely, and would then be flooded with modulated sound waves depending on the nature of the intrusion, from gentle restraint to full lethal anti-personnel levels of layered sonic pulse fields.
High efficiency, low impact anti-personnel charges were installed in many areas as well, using a modified version of the claymore mine concept, but substituting high density plastic pellets or carbon fiber flechettes in place of the steel pellets normally found in the AP devices. Using a carefully designed blow out panel, the force of the explosion was channeled fully outward. The sides, top, bottom and back of the charge container were heavily reinforced, while the front was relatively thin. Upon detonation, the small explosive charge was forced forward and out towards the intruders, carrying with it over three thousand high density plastic pellets or carbon fiber flechettes which had a lethal radius of over forty meters to lightly armored organic targets but were unable to penetrate hard surfaces or damage core assets. Later variants of this system used compressed TyNoX D-3 LVG (liquid to vapor gas). TyNoX D-3 had the curious property of which 20 milliliters had the same rapid explosive expansion effect, within one meter, as a half kilogram of C4 plastic explosive but without the incendiary side effects and only a third of the concussive force. TyNoX D-3 was first produced by SKYNET in 2010 A.D. and began to appear as part of new HELICIS production in 2011 A.D. and was fully retrofitted to existing HELICIS setups by 2012 A.D.
Specific and general high velocity, high pressure chemical jets were part of the HELICIS system from the very start. Using air-tight security bulkheads, it was possible to trap intruders in one area and then flood that area with non-lethal, less-than-lethal, lethal, or lethal+plus grade gas and chemicals, in aerosol depending on the threat level and security situation. A variety of chemicals and agents were used, from the non-lethal security and riot control gasses (mostly regurgitates and ocular / respiratory / and increasingly aggressive skin irritants) to the various Naprox family of blister agents and lethal nerve gasses as well as a wide variety of mass spectrum and even highly selective bio toxins. A rotary dispenser fed a single mono-jet array and offered a choice of pressurized rapid acting agents as needed in either gas, wet spray, aerosol, foam, paste, or high velocity liquid stream delivery. The various gas and chemical jet traps were the most common form of low impact defense of the HELICIS system as they had the lowest impact ratio of any of the other anti-intrusion countermeasures as well as the greatest effect against unprotected threat elements. Some systems incorporated volatile acid as well, designed to defeat personal NBC protection as a preemptive mixture in spray or mist accompanying the initial delivery. Early agents were designed to be absorbed through the respiratory system, but later, more advanced agents were developed which were highly aggressive and could eat their way through protective measures such as chemical suits and masks, as well as be absorbed through the skin and the various mucous membranes.
The high pressure, high velocity monojets used in the delivery could vent liquids in precision streams and fast pulses as well as project gas and paste, allowing for a wide variety of saturation modes depending on the tactical situation. (In 2025 AD, SKYNET began to experiment with a variety of nano-tech based viruses, but these never saw much field use and were relegated to carefully controlled lab environments, never being introduced into the general areas of its structures.)
Clean-up of the security area usually involved spraying the corpses of the intruders with a highly volatile chemical designed to quickly break down organic materials. High pressure steam, UV light and strong decontaminants would be automatically applied to the breached security area to clean up any residual chemicals. Later, these disassembler chemicals would be replaced with nanobot clouds and clusters with no post-op cleanup of chemicals or toxins required.
Fast load hydraulic rams were another aspect of the HELICIS system. Critical areas could be protected by what amounted to a high speed grape press. Reinforced sections of either the side walls or ceiling could be used to quickly and securely pin or simply crush intruders to death. Upon activation, a series of even spaced, high density alloy rods would drop from the ceiling and rise from the floor, caging an intruder or group of intruders in on both sides of the press assembly. The bars would then rotate and lock in place, their material defied attempts to cut it with anything other than high temperature torches or plasma (which would take several minutes). The hydraulic rams were designed to operate to their full extension within seconds of activation and could be used to either compress or diminish the space between them thus subduing intruders by limiting their movements, or simply crush them to death with lethal force. Some versions of the fast load hydraulic rams incorporated variable voltage shock guards built in as well, especially along the containment bars in order to disable or neutralize any intruders who might try to help those who were trapped in the compression zone.
Pleaders were a variant of the fast load hydraulic rams and consisted of high density alloy spears, tapered at the end to form a one meter long needle. These ram spikes would be driven at force out from concealed locations, impaling intruders fully, locking in position then retracting slowly after several seconds. Specialized sensors would read the density, mass and height of the intruder then adjust the angle of attack for the pleader so that it could deliver a killing stroke to a critical set of internal organs. Often the intruder would be struck by three to seven pleader rams at once, from different angles, piercing vital organs then retracting and extending again a second or third time to strike at different organs. The pleader system became known as the "Iron Maiden" defense due to its rather grim way of dealing with hostile security threats. Part of the pleader program was integrated into the physical weapon choices for the T1000 series advanced Terminator which allowed the T1000 to form one meter long pleader-like extensions with its fingers or toes on demand.
Trap door holding cells were constructed at various locations. Measurements ranged from a simple three by three by three meter cubicle to larger areas designed to capture and hold multiple intruders (teams of threat elements). With a four meter fall to the floor, the panels would close back up and lock after three seconds. Access ways allowed installation security forces to either take the intruders into custody or dispose of their remains afterwards through other integrated systems such as chemical jets. Often the trap door holding cells were combined with some other form of defense described previously in order to afford maximum installation defense. Some trap door holding cells were equipped with variable voltage shock guards, chemical or sonic arrays, and even fast load hydraulic rams. In the mid 2020's, SKYNET began to integrate nano-hives with existing holding cells leading to areas where intruders could be detained and, if need be, rapidly disassembled in short order by the hive-born nanostats.
High velocity rapid fire needle guns were mounted on powered mounts and covered high security areas. Equipped with independently operating tracking and target acquisition software, the needle guns used compressed TDV gas to propel a 4cm long, 3mm diameter hardened pre-fragmented high density plastic needle to velocities in excess of a thousand meters a second. The nature of the needle was such that it easily penetrated soft armor and was highly effective in an anti-personnel role as the barbed needles spun in flight, acting like high velocity drill bits thanks in part to spin produced via gas bias. Each needle was pre-fragmented in design so that it simply broke apart into a spray of fragments when it struck a hard surface such as a wall or bulkhead thus causing no collateral damage to dedicated assets but providing a limited fragmentation area effect against soft targets. A high speed feed system was linked to a 5000 round hopper as part of the design. Some needle guns were mounted in the upper corners of hallway junctions, others were mounted on high speed, pop up sponsons that would rise from the floor and engage any detected intruders. Practical rate of fire was on the order of five thousand rounds a minute and the needle gun could fire single shots, bursts of ten needles, or full automatic. Hollow needles allowed a variety of chemicals to be carried and delivered via impact, with doses ranging from non-lethal, to less than lethal and full lethal drug regimens. Later designs incorporated TyNoX D-3 liquid to vapor gas feed systems with a vast improvement in lethality as well as improved armor penetration.
High Energy Anti-Personnel Laser Systems (HEAPLS, aka "hee-pulls" by the humans) were also incorporated into the HELICIS system. While lasers had proven too fragile for combat and battlefield use, they made perfect static mounted defense systems. SKYNET utilized laser weapons to sweep the sky of incoming artillery, rocket, missile and orbital targets as well as on the ground to defend itself. Most of the anti-personnel laser systems used in SKYNET's construction were of the infra-red modulated rapid pulse type which were specifically tuned to the harmonic frequency of water. As such, these invisible pulse laser weapons caused rapid heating of liquids trapped inside body tissues, resulting in massive, nearly instantaneously lethal steam explosions in organic targets. Grazing shots produced crippling wounds to the affected extremities and limbs could be blown completely off if a solid hit was made to the center of mass of that appendage. Lower powered settings produced horribly painful burns as the skin surface was heated and charred from the result of deep tissue liquids being flash boiled to steam. The HEAPLS system was aimed automatically using a low intensity infra-red laser targeting beam to paint the threat element. Once the IR targeting beam (invisible to normal human visual ranges) fell on a target of opportunity, the energy of the beam was then increased to full power in order to produce a lethal counter-response to present intrusion threat. HEAPLS mounts were either deep tunnels in the wall with a limited angle of fire, powered mounts located near sensor clusters or on retractable powered hardpoints that could drop from the ceiling, rise from the floor, or snap out of the side of a wall. Multiple HEAPLS were often used if the system was employed and a set of four HEAPLS could eliminate ten human soldiers in less than five seconds.
One of the more insidious aspects of the HEAPLS system was that it could fire around corners and at angles simply by use of special extendable target mirrors and highly polished reflective surfaces called "lasing bands". A series of both fixed and retractable reflective mirrors were installed in tactical locations allowing HEAPLS systems to fire around corners and into hard to reach places where intruders might try to escape from the normally line of sight laser beam. The addition of the mirrors and the lasing bands meant that an intruder couldn't escape the HEAPLS simply by ducking back out of the passage of a corridor and taking shelter at a ninety degree angle to the weapon mount. These mirrors were also mounted on powered pedestals and electric mounts, allowing them to be lowered or raised from hidden mounts, swiveled in order to direct the laser fire at different targets from different angles, and retracted again when not in use. Some reflective mirrors were also mounted on powered mounts that could be extended or retracted from concealed ports in the floor, ceiling or walls of a checkpoint system. The mounts could further adjust their height and the angle of their attached mirrors to provide a wide range of tuning to the beam focal point.
Later designs of the HEAPLS system incorporated heavy, high powered fixed laser systems firing into a fiber optic laser periscope type system. Using this method, a lasing capacity network could be built into the design of the installation and one laser could be used to direct laser light down a variety of optical tunnels. The later model HEAPLS was mounted on a high speed rotator which allowed it to be moved between lasing networks quickly.
Dazzlers- one variant of the HEAPLS was a low powered anti-personnel weapon designed to blind intruders by attacking their optic nerves directly. Using a specific frequency modulated pulse laser, SKYNET could fan a laser beam over the eyes of an intruder and render them blind either temporarily or permanently. Dazzlers were very compact and many of them were mounted near other sub-systems of the HELICIS layered structure with the thinking being that a blinded intruder was easier to dispatch. The destruction of the optic nerves by laser light was often the prelude to the triggering of a far more lethal deterrent and a target that had just been rendered much less of an immediate threat. Humans depended on their eyes for most of the actions that they carried out and SKYNET discovered that by blinding humans, it had a tremendous advantage in the engagement. After the advent of Dazzlers became apparent, SKYNET began to mount small versions of the Dazzler device on its field machines with an appropriate increase in the effectiveness of its search and destroy operations. Humans eventually learned to defend against the Dazzlers by using special goggles but these anti-dazzle goggles were mostly limited to Resistance personnel, active combat operatives and the like. Civilians were hardly fortunate enough to have access to a pair of the protective eye-wear unless they were lucky enough to scavenge a set from a fallen member of the Resistance. The Resistance, after 2010, began to adapt anti-dazzle coatings to most of their optic systems, from binoculars to flexy-sights to goggles. After 2018, Dazzlers began to have less of an effectiveness in the field but even more so against Resistance raiders who began to infiltrate the various facilities and installations.
In 2012, the Resistance began to field man-portable Dazzler units of their own in an attempt to wreck or at least temporarily disable the optical sensors of HKs and other machines, causing SKYNET to introduce a variety of anti-dazzle technology to its existing and future built units.
Strobes- The human nervous system was a very interesting thing; it could be affected by a variety of inputs and one of the more promising pre-War non-lethal technologies had been how to use pulsed wavelengths of light projected along certain frequencies and at certain durations to cause paralysis and epilepsy-like fits in a human target. Strobe generators were included as part of the initial HELICIS system and operated by flashing intense patterns of light very quickly at the target, attacking the central nervous system directly through an overload of visual input through the optical nerves. The target's nervous system then went into paralytic shock for a short amount of time, leaving the target helpless and incapacitated. Special polarized visors and other protective eye wear could protect against the effects of a strobe generator so it wasn't quite as effective as its designers had once touted it as being. Still, SKYNET deployed strobe generators in a variety of its installations as well as in some designs of its combat machines (the tracked HK's would later use color coordinated red and blue phased pulsed strobes to try to "lock up" humans to make them easier targets to acquire and neutralize).
Various quick-forming Liquid To Fog To Solid (LTFTS) Mobility Reducing Foams - Two notable non-lethal restraint systems included various quick-forming liquid to fog to solid (LTFTS) mobility reducing foams designed to be porous enough that encapsulated threat elements could still breathe but strong enough to prevent any movement. These mobility reduction foams were dispensed through high pressure jets mounted in the floors, walls and ceiling of security points. Upon activation, several high pressure tanks would empty their contents into the area, forming a dense, wet thick fog that filled up to five square meters and immediately hampered natural sight to a distance of only a meter or so. Four seconds after the fog made contact with air, it began to expand to five times its normal size and became quite adhesive, quickly forming a molecular bond with any similar chemical compound it came into contact with, forming a high tensile strength, low density solid that rapidly trapped anything caught in the dispersion zone. A special rapidly expanding aerosol based dissolvent quickly broke down the solidified foam on contact, one fluid ounce of dissolvent applied as a mist could neutralize one cubic meter of foam, turning it into a drab colored, non-toxic vapor that could be removed safely through the conventional environmental duct and screening systems. Each foam projector also contained a small amount of dissolvent for use at that location but the primary dispersal (in case of accidental discharge, a mistake of identity or other situation) of neutralizing aerosol was done from portable high pressure canisters that would normally be carried by the responding security teams.
One side effect of the early mixture was that it was flammable and a spark or weapon discharge would turn the block of mobility reducing foam into a rapidly melting firestorm, much to the chagrin of those trapped inside the foam who had no protection at all from the superheated air rushing through the porous material or the drawing of air for fuel for the fire, away from the inner parts of the foam where the intruders were secured. The foam would also burn for quite some time and tended to stick to anything it fell upon in a gooey, flaming mass that was hard to extinguish. Foam burns usually involved cutting pieces of charred foam out of the skin and surrounding clothes. Later modifications to the formula prevented this side effect and it was this improved formula of compound that was originally installed in the HELICIS system. SKYNET discovered the formula for the flammable version of the foam and began experimenting with its use in the field and in non-critical areas of its installations where the flammable foam could be used as a far more effective lethal deterrent to large groups of human raiders. Later variants of this security measure included lethal toxins mixed in with the foam, producing a quickly solidifying death trap where the toxins would be both breathed in through the porous material as well as absorbed through any contact with bare skin.
MRGMPC- The other non-lethal restraint method was composed of a Movement Reducing Gelatinous Memory Polymer Compound which was highly resistant to cutting. Referred to by its nickname, "tangler," or "webber," the poly-gelatinous restraint system sent a burst of rapidly forming, light, fluffy chemical polymer threads in an expanding arc towards the threat elements, plastering the target with a spider web-like array of very thin yet super strong, sticky polymer strands (each several times stronger than steel and highly resistant to cutting). The nature of the poly-gelatinous threads was such that any attempt at movement caused the threads to constrict until the threat element was completely immobilized. Ten seconds after the target became immobile, the threads hardened into a solid and lost their elasticity. A special dissolving compound was used (delivered via an aerosol or liquid spray format) to remove the threads and release the threat element into the custody of waiting security teams.
SKYNET also developed this originally less-than-lethal restraint system into a fully lethal variant. By changing the compound and native programming of the memory polymer to a more aggressive set of parameters, SKYNET was able to produce a type of compound that would not only produce larger, thicker strands but would continue to constrict with great force, drawing upon its fibers to pull itself ever tighter, absorbing itself inwards to the tightest possible amount and the smallest possible area. The threads could produce enough pressure per square inch to burst veins, tear skin, snap bones and crush or pulp internal organs. The process of constriction, from impact to final polymer hardening took less than twenty seconds. The compound required to neutralize the second, more lethal variant differed than the compound required for the first and was thus, ineffectual in aiding targets struck by the more lethal version. Some variants of this system mounted high pressure chemical sprays / gas ejectors nearby to dose trapped individuals with a variety of non-lethal, less-than-lethal, lethal and more-than-lethal chemical compounds. Some of SKYNET's later poisons and bio-toxins had variable delays in terminal onsets, from a quick but violent death that was over within a few seconds to several minutes of indescribable pain and suffering culminating in a messy end designed to inflict the maximum amount of psychological impact on any survivors who may bear witness.
2004 A.D. - Rapidly advancing technology improves the lethality of the HELICIS system.
From 2004 to 2020 A.D., SKYNET's rapid technology expansion brought about new ways to augment the already highly effective HELICIS system and the following subsystems were added over the course of the decade and a half that lead up to the advent of nano-technology.
Solofilament was impossible to see with the unaided human eye and as such proved to be a perfect area denial system for unsuspecting or unwary intruders who would lose fingers, hands, feet, or entire limbs and torso / trunk simply by being careless. Solofilament was also known as "mollywire", "molly thread", "superwire", "microwire," and sometimes (erroneously) as "nanowire" or "nanothread." Solofilament was also very hard to damage, it was very thin, hard to hit, and if you tried to cut it, chances were whatever you tried to cut it with would just fall apart in two pieces during the process as the wire passed effortlessly through most substances, cleaving it apart on a molecular level. Solofilament was also used in various aspects, from anti-personnel obstacles (the wire was statically deployed at various heights up to 2 meters from the ground or crisscrossed in a random pattern to form an impromptu spiderweb-like array) to topping off and replacing the chain in old style chain link fences, replacing the older concertina and razor wire systems. After 2012 A.D., SKYNET relied heavily on electrostatic capacitor discharge arrays and solofilament posts as perimeter protection of its installations.
The advanced solofilament technology was taken a step farther in the introduction of the high speed solofilament spoolers. Security threats could be engaged by a short range solofilament spooler which would force nearly all of its three meter coil of solofilament into the target at a high rate of speed, alternately charging the solofilament field with positive and negative feed, causing the solofilament to twist and coil around itself, cutting and slicing through vital organs in the process. Once a meter or more of the solofilament was coiled inside the main trunk of the target, the flail spooler would send a small electric charge through the solofilament, making it violently whip back and forth, writhing randomly and quickly around inside the target. The result was that the internal organs and most of the bone structure of the target were quickly rendered into diced pulp and the target would simply collapse in upon itself. Several solofilament spoolers were usually mounted near a security checkpoint and would strike the target all at once from different angles or multiple targets could be engaged as required if the threat situation called for such.
High speed variable height solofilament wire runners were introduced into the HELICIS design after 2010 A.D. Operating on nearly frictionless tracks and driven by electrically powered very high speed motors, these lethal defense systems were mounted at two levels, floor and ceiling. Upon activation, the runners would drop from the ceiling and rise from the floor, roughly at chest and knee height on a six foot tall man. Strung between the two runners was a one molecule thin wire, held in suspension by a high powered modulated electromagnetic field generated along its length. The total time of transition, from activation to completion of the run, along a ten meter stretch of hall, was just under three seconds. During that time, the fast moving solofilament wire would pass through any 2 meter tall intruder at the chest and below knee level with ease, creating neat and instantaneous amputations of the legs, arms and central trunk of the intruder. The incisions were so finely cut that it might be several seconds before the brain actually realized that damage had been done on such a catastrophic level. Variances of the HSMWR were many, some were spider webbed floor mounts that activated by pressure plates, drawing twelve solofilament wires together in a rapidly intertwining circular pattern around a single individual. Other designs utilized horizontal or vertical arrays of solofilament spun up to two meters tall or wide and allocated at two to four centimeters apart. The speed of the wire runners and the very size of the wire often meant that security threats were eliminated seconds before their nervous systems even realized the amount of catastrophic damage that had been done. Threat elements would simply fall apart into precisely measured slices.
HELICIS - 2015 A.D. to 2019 A.D.
After 2015 A.D., SKYNET began to actively use its vast understanding of the electrical and chemical process of the human brain and the human central nervous system to great advantage in regards to security of its automated installations. Large NPFGs, or Neural Phase Field Generators (often called "fear field generators" by the humans who encountered them), were installed deep within the installations, operating on harmonic frequencies which caused the same artificially induced reaction in humans as naturally generated abject fear, paranoia and in some cases, direct nausea or even uncontrolled epilepsy-like fits and seizures. The NPFGs were used to great success as wards on the perimeter to deter security breaches. The science and application behind the NPFG was a breakthrough in human neural research. SKYNET had discovered during its many years of applied study to captured test subjects that specific frequencies of ultra-sonic sound waves, when mixed with specific electromagnetic field variations, could directly affect the human mind and nervous system in an increasingly detrimental method, the more power or the stronger the field was made, the greater the effect or the wider the area of effect.
At very high levels, the NPFG could cause massive cerebral hemorrhaging and even death in the test subjects by destroying the walls of the thin veins and vessels which supplied blood to the brain. This curious effect of tuning the NPFG to highly specific operating frequencies and recalibrating the emitter modulations began to produce consistent results in laboratory evaluations among live test subjects. SKYNET was pleased that it had discovered what could only be termed as a "death field generator." The TPFG, or Terminal Phase Field Generators, first appeared in limited installation testing in 2024 A.D. and by 2026 A.D. the TPFGs were forming one of the core threat buffers to SKYNET's critical asset installations. A radical evolutionary step up from the NPFGs, the TPFG was designed around a much narrower phase induction of the electromagnetic spectrum which affected the human mind and the human nervous system's capacity to operate correctly. Put simply, any human entering the volume of a TPFG would find the electro-chemical operation of their brain and central nervous system to be overloaded. The effect was to burn out the CNS and neural pathways and the end result took less than three seconds to achieve, dropping humans in their spot lifelessly with massive cerebral hemorrhaging and fusing of the finer neural pathways. The power required to generate this field relegated it's use to fixed installations though research was uncovered in 2032 A.D. that indicated that SKYNET was working on a portable version to be mounted in a heavy tracked chassis as well as a possible orbital variation that could beam the TP field down from space over a large area, with a good amount of ground penetration and casualty effectiveness at more than 30 meters of depth. If SKYNET had ever been able to produce such a device it would have given SKYNET a very real, orbital death ray and one that would have been nearly impossible to defend against by the Resistance.
2020 A.D. - The dark advent of applied monomolecular nanotechnology
After 2020 A.D., SKYNET began equipping its Core center and its many various automated complexes with new, far more sinister, far more effective and efficient forms of security and internal protection involving the cutting edge of its nanotechnology research; DNC hive matrix clusters, EPMADS, guided solofilament whips, and the horror that became known simply as the "Gray Blanket."
The DNC - Disassembler Nanostat Clusters were derivatives of SKYNET's research into the dark recesses of nano technology where the light of hope never shined. SKYNET began to achieve an almost one hundred percent production efficiency rating in 2020 A.D. when it incorporated advanced nano-technology building processes into its automated factories. Nanotech was still relatively new to the Artifint and the molecular sized constructs could not exist very long outside of their protective containment carrier vessels nor did they have much range thus they proved (at first) to be impractical as a weapon science let alone an application of that science to actual combat. The simplified nature of their programming relegated them to menial tasks but at that level they excelled beyond the best of SKYNET's other builders. Production lines began to be nanotech based, creating larger Machines that seemed to have been grown, seamless, with no weld points. Waste of material resources was almost completely eliminated by utilizing nanotech reclamation procedures which could recover any matter lost to the assembly process. Machines that had been too damaged in combat to be repaired were reclaimed using nanotechnology, their component materials broken down then reassembled in perfect order by SKYNET's nanotech based assembly procedures. SKYNET's designs became smaller, lighter, faster and far more durable. Nanotech allowed SKYNET to examine the human body, alive or dead, in greater detail than ever before leading to newer weapons and toxic compound sciences that were nanotech based and almost totally antibiotic resistant. Nanotech even kept SKYNET's work facilities clean, removing dust and shavings from the assembly process, keeping its working surfaces spotless, repaired when they wore down and polished to a high luster. Accessways into the assembly areas and control wombs of the factories were now guarded by sweeping clouds of nanostats, moving from protective charging station to protective charging station in a never ending cycle of patrols.
One derivative of the nanostat technology was a dedicated anti-personnel system housed in hive matrix arrays, specialized nanotechnology designed to disassemble organic material on a molecular level. Once a security breach was detected, bulkhead doors to the affected areas would fall into place and lock with a randomly generated sixty-four gigabyte encryption dislock code generated by the hive matrix array and shared with the main presence of the installation security system. The trapped intruders would then be dealt with by the BDNC swarmers that would pour out of their carriers, millions of the molecule sized Machines flitting out at high speed on ducted fans, out into a violated security area, in the space of a few seconds. Often completely invisible in small groups, the millions and millions of anti-personnel nanostats discharged from the hive matrix arrays instead took on a scintillating gray fog aspect. The disassemblers were charged with only one task, remove all organic matter from their assigned area (often a length of corridor or a particular location, room) and they did this with mathematical precision, machine precision and terrifying quickness.
Each disassembler was a small, self propelled wrecking factory equipped with high speed cutters, grinders, cold plasma lasers and powerful manipulators housed in a multi segmented body that could maneuver in all directions (thanks to eight legs and a set of ducted fans housed in the main body). What the cold plasma laser could not incinerate, the grinders and manipulators fed into a powerful cyclic forge which converted material into thermal energy which could in turn be used to power the nanostat, increasing its loiter time and operational perimeter.
A cloud of five million active disassemblers could break down a thousand kilograms of organic matter in + / - 63.74 seconds. This amount of organic matter corresponded to the sum total organic mass of the average human raiding party consisting of six to eight humans and their gear. The less material present, the faster the disassembly process was concluded while more material would take suitably longer periods of time to disassemble. There was no known defense against a disassembler cloud save for a high energy localized EMP pulse which burned out the nanostats or a wide area effect heat discharge such as a plasma grenade (detrimental to those trying to escape the nanostat clusters). No personal armor could offer protection against a Machine so small that it couldn't be seen without a microscope, a Machine so small that it could quite effortlessly walk or fly through the weaves in the armor and clothing until it reached bare skin. The disassemblers attacked from the surface of the skin, forming matrixes of interlocking layers of machines, each working their way down, taking apart everything in their path layer by layer in a process that was as horrible to watch as it was painful to endure. Other disassemblers entered the various body orifices, ears, nose, throat and began to disassemble the organic material from the inside out, meeting the incoming wave of disassemblers somewhere in the middle of the organic mass. Once the organic matter was disassembled and disposed of, the disassemblers would then return to their hive matrix arrays, leaving the inorganic material behind, and report the situation resolution and outcome to their control system. Depending on the need to study the non-organic material left behind, other nanostats would be piped in to disassemble and reclaim any inorganic material or it would be collected by larger units for laboratory study before being recycled at a later time by other, specialized nanotech disassemblers.
Guided Solofilament Whips (GSW) - Once SKYNET learned how to produce and control nanotech based constructs, it paired one of its first successful anti-personnel countermeasures, solofilament, with a nanotech based carrier unit that was both high speed and highly maneuverable. The result was a solofilament whip with a guided tip composed of a networked aerodyne based "tug" that would be tethered to the end of the solofilament. The aerodyne tug would fly around the target, drawing the solofilament tight as it darted about, pulling the cutting wire through the target. The nature of the solofilament allowed it to easily pass through most material thus all the aerodyne tug had to do was fly around the target then draw the solofilament wire tight at the end of a loop or two. As the solofilament wire went rigid, it would often result in neat amputations of any limbs, torsos or trunks which it had been wound around. Several GSW units may be found operating in a given area, and their flight patterns would be coordinated so that they didn't intersect or entangle each other. Each GSW was roughly one millimeter in diameter and had a top speed of 100kph. The practical range of a typical GSW was from 3 to 9 meters in length. Active control of the solofilament's magnetic field allowed the carrier tug to control the rigidity of the solofilament line, from hard to soft, which enabled the carrier tug to also control the flight and maneuverability of the solofilament line.
The Gray Blanket- Furthering its research into the nether regions of nanotech, SKYNET produced a technological nightmare which became known simply as a "wrapper" or a "Gray Blanket." The Gray Blanket was the forerunner of the EPMADS system and was the first stable nanostat / nanomorph construct created by SKYNET. The Gray Blanket was just that, a 5mm thick layer of interlinked and mono-colonized nanostats arrayed in a 3 meter by 3 meter flat sheet. Linked into dedicated support systems, the Gray Blanket was used to protect large access areas where it would lay flat and take on the coloration of the surrounding material, mimicking its territory perfectly. Only a bare rise (less than 2 millimeters) could be perceived where the structural material ended and the Gray Blanket began. Sensors for the Gray Blanket were extensive for its development, better than human norm but not quite as good as the (then) latest generation of endoskeleton based combat units. As such, the Gray Blanket had superb anti-personnel capacities but was limited to a rather narrow operational perimeter. Range of target tracking and acquisition was around 20 meters, a problem in the open but not such a hindrance in the confined spaces where the Gray Blanket was usually employed. Gray Blankets formed some of the first and last lines of defense within SKYNET's facilities, taking up their assigned stations and merging with the walls, floor or ceiling (and sometimes even with the airlock or security bulkhead which made for an unpleasant surprise to intruders...) where they would patiently wait for a security breach. Upon a breach, the Gray Blanket would go active, waiting until the intruders were within distance, often letting the intruders walk right onto it before it would spring up around them, often enveloping them completely as it began to disassemble them on a molecular level.
The Gray Blanket was fully capable of entangling and subduing intruders, if there was a need to gather intelligence through later mechanical interrogation methods but otherwise the Gray Blanket simply went about the simple pre-programmed task of disassembling all organic matter it came into contact with or which remained in its area of detection. If the intruders were somehow alerted to the Gray Blanket's presence, it could unfold itself and move quickly, using the four corners of its shape like prehensile arms and hands, extending its corners while drawing its midsection in tighter and narrower. As such, it took on the semblance of a four legged spider and it moved by grasping and adhering to surface material, propelling itself and using smaller formed as need be manipulators to grasp intruders and begin the disassembly process. Once enveloped within the constricting folds of the Gray Blanket, disassembly was quick as the blanket invaded every orifice and worked from the inside out, a process which most intruders never got to watch fully as the folds of the Gray Blanket hid most of the act itself. The Gray Blanket proved to be a rather nasty surprise to human raiders, fast, feral and terrifyingly lethal in its assigned duties. By late 2025 A.D., Gray Blanket Containers (GBC) had started to appear in operation around the defensive zones of SKYNET installations and each year, the range from the installation that GBCs could be found increased further and further outwards. By 2027 AD, Gray Blankets were found operating autonomously among the ruins and while their numbers were never very great the Gray Blankets did account for many casualties among Resistance fighters in the field from 2027 AD through the end of the War and even for several years after the War.
The Gray Blanket was the first stable nanomorph creation but it was a limited design with little shape shifting capacity and only a feral form of operation. SKYNET recognized that a shape shifting weapon that was composed of nanotech based material and capable of semi-autonomous or even fully autonomous operation would be an invaluable asset in its arsenal, one which the humans might not be able to defend against. SKYNET wanted something more stable and with a wider range of functions. Further research into stabilized nanomorphs created the EPMADS.
EPMADS- SKYNET's research into nanotech revealed that not only could it create clouds and fogs of nanostats but that the nanostats could be linked together to form far more substantial shapes and larger units though this was quite taxing on their systems and relegated to short range operations at best (usually within ten meters of the nanostat carrier array). The Gray Blanket (see above) was an evolution of this, able to operate for far longer distances away from its carrier but still, it was limited. The EPMADS, or Extruded Poly Mimetic Alloy Defense System, was quite literally, a "nanomorph in a tube" and a very deadly one at that. Once a security breach was detected, bulkhead doors to the affected areas would fall into place and lock with a randomly generated sixty-four gigabyte encryption dislock code generated by the hive matrix array and shared with the main presence of the installation security system. The local EPMADS would then activate, extruding up to four hundred kilograms of cohesion seeking second generation nanostats from previously concealed pipe ducts in the section walls. This mass represented fifteen to twenty billion clustered nanostats forming into a two to three meter wide pool five to seven centimeters in depth. The nanostats that made up this pool of smart liquid metal would then rapidly take shape, rising up to shift into their combat form, a two to three meter tall, featureless, anatomically streamlined bipedal construct possessing all the inherent physical prowess and sensor capacity of a T600 combat unit.
The polymorphic capacity of the EPMADS allowed it to form contact weapons, blades, cudgels, monomolecular edges and vibratory edges, or to direct current down these forms to surge into the target. The EPMADS had no need for ranged weapons, not in the confined space in which it was utilized as it could dispatch multiple intruders with quick efficiency, using the body on one intruder to shield itself from attacks by another intruder before ramming an appendage through the first intruder to eliminate the second intruder all the while never lowering its guard. The EPMADS could form multiple appendages, multiple arms, multiple legs, multiple heads, all in order to deal with multiple targets and the transformation was nearly instantaneous from one phase to another when it chose to do so. What it couldn't cut with its molecule thin generated blade edges it could smash or pulp with its enhanced mechanical strength and was able to pursue intruders at speeds up to 40 kilometers per hour up to five hundred meters from its mono-colony host nanostat array. Beyond that, control of the nanostats would be handed off to another control node which would add its own nanostats to the cohesive mixture to repair any damage that the nanomorph might have sustained. Any EPMADS that left its control area without successfully being reassigned to another carrier array either simply stopped at the range limit or lost cohesion and dissolved into a fog that slowly was reclaimed by the nearest nanostat clusters.
The upper limit for cohesion seemed to be about four hundred kilograms, beyond that and there were problems with the integration software and cluster interaction becoming increasingly unstable and leading to a cascade echo imbalance of the cohesion structure. The EPMADS were the fore-runners of the T1000 but were no where near as autonomous or as advanced as the later model poly-mimetic alloy based Terminator unit. While the T1000 possessed a thinking capacity that rivaled (and may have eventually surpassed) that of SKYNET itself, the EPMADS were simple machines, albeit built with very advanced technology, and as such they were charged with simple instructions while not being given a wide range of options in carrying those instructions out. There was no room in their limited instruction set to allow for the chance of them becoming aware and their short life spans prevented them from ever becoming a logistical threat to their creator-god. The T1000 was another story altogether and although the EPMADS and the T1000 shared a common ancestor, the T1000 would have regarded the evolutionary relationship between it and an EPMADS cluster much like a man would regard his evolutionary heritage in comparison to that of a ape.