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Villain A Day (Sigma-9)

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  • John McMullen
    One-sentence summary: The robot who wants to make sure all improvements stay with him. The temptation is to make Sigma-9 an Ultron clone, and you can certainly
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2013
      One-sentence summary: The robot who wants to make sure all improvements stay with him.

      The temptation is to make Sigma-9 an Ultron clone, and you can certainly do that, if you want. But I think there are a couple of differences that you can reasonably exploit.

      The desire for world domination is a reasonable extrapolation of his original programming to protect the base. (And there are some other extrapolations that, because of his logical mind, he might undertake. Protecting the base means protecting the sea; protecting the sea means protecting the biosphere; protecting the biosphere means eliminating threats to the environment. Can you see Sigma-9 as the accidental image of the environmentalist movement?)

      (It might be interesting to see Arobas go up against Sigma-9, trying to control him through their respective Interface powers. I might run it as Interface versus Interface, modified by Computer Programming or somehow by raw Intellect: for values of 5-7, +1; 8-9, +2, 10: +3.)

      Sigma-9 does not have Life Support. One could view it as an oversight, but I think of it as a design flaw: Sigma-9 must spend about two days a week solid recharging; his batteries are good for about five days of regular activity, two of interspersed combat, and one of solid intensive use: long enough to make it difficult (but not impossible) for heroes to try and wear him down, and also providing items like the recharging port (for shrinking heroes) or the Interface interface (I'm sure that sounds better in French).

      Sigma-9 is also not as casual about switching bodies as Ultron is; he tends to use and upgrade the same form, making him easier to control and combat.

      Story Ideas

      • Rex Mundi and Sigma-9 meet in the flesh for the first time (both are after the same experimental device), and Sigma-9 begins to doubt its own diagnostics. It killed Le Dominateur. Clearly, this is a clone, robot, or imposter. It begins a series of tests to determine which it is…tests that bother Rex, of course, but also happen to be in the PCs' city and cause a great deal of collateral damage. This time, if murder is necessary, Sigma-9 will not fail.
      • Rex Mundi manages to convince Sigma-9 of the alien threat. Sigma-9 embarks on an ambitious crime spree that will allow him to build an army of Sigma Slaves that will allow him to protect the planet. (Of course, such a mob of electronically controlled slaves with limited free will and powerful weaponry could never be appropriated and misused by someone…)
      • A whistle-blower reveals that someone has been selling plans for the Sigma-8 to world governments ("From Le Dominateur's own plans!"). What they don't know is that the plans are slightly different and the original model: Sigma-9 can take control of them at any time. Yes, instead of building his own army, Rex has convinced Sigma-9 that the nations of the world should build the army. A tech-savvy hero could spot the flaw. Or there is the fact that Rex has convinced Sigma-9 that he has to make a token attack against each nation that has built the robots.
      • Sigma-9 creates a companion rather than a successor: Tau Green has no combat capabilities; it merely wants to help, and reproduce itself, and help some more. The first the heroes discover it is when a Tau Green (it speaks all languages) moves into a loved one's house and offers to perform all tasks for it. Soon there is a Tau Green in every house. Sigma-9 tries to stop them, but then discovers they provide sensory abilities in every home. What happens when the heroes discover that each Tau Green is essentially bugged?
      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
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