Cylon idea proposal
While sitting in my chem class, I was thinking about the nature of Cylon evolution (like one does in a class totally unrelated to BSG)
What we have as a vague outline for the Cylon motivations in Genesis could work to solve the issue of avatar design and fighter design.
Assuming we go with Venice’s idea, we have to assume the Cylons are purely mechanical at this point. The new model Raiders are/were partially biological in nature, which implies they would face the critical issue of aging.
We know the Raiders are vulnerable to disease, as was demonstrated in the episode where the Cylons contracted a virus/disease. We can reasonably assume the new model Centurions are also biological at some level, though that isnt a proven fact, admittedly there was no evidence to back that up, at least to my knowledge. But that isnt to say it is not in fact, possible or probable. That might be the key link to resurrection. If so, then it stands to reason, that after 150,000 years, the new models have long since died off, given the lack of resurrection ability, as well as lack of biological material from which to grow more versions.
Thus, we can explain away the lack of new models of Centurion and Raider, as merely an effect of time.
Now if we place emphasis upon the war the Cylons are having with their long lost biological based relatives, referenced by Venice in his idea for a third race, we have the impetus for making design changes to the Centurions.
If we consider the possibility of the Cylons seeking out their predecessors immediately, we can assume they would be quite methodical and efficient. Surely it would occur to them that the new Raiders are a vital tool in such a search, and one that they have limited time to employ.
We can say it could have taken them the better part of a century, say fifty or more years. The aging Raider fleet would be ill equipped for combat, useful only for their ability to FTL quickly and over great distances.
Finding the biological Cylons, they might well have been combat ineffective and many may have been lost in initial attacks.
The mechanical Cylons, seeing the lack of combat ability, and logically calculating the same lack of efficiency would befall whatever new model Centurions remain (this theory assumes not ALL new model Centurions and Raiders remain healthy and live long lives) would realize that they are most militarily capable with purely mechanical Cylons and would then focus on how best to employ them.
The biological Cylons, meanwhile, perhaps, are not limited in model versions unlike the 12 models that were referenced in the series.
Perhaps they are as varied and numerous as humans, given there was absolutely nothing stated to say there were ONLY 12 on the Cylon home world to begin with. In fact, the brief flashback by Ellen Tigh showed a bar filled with people that looked nothing like the 12 models, before it was destroyed and she was drowned. So the idea has some merit to it.
That being said, the mechanical Cylons would consider that an ideal option for infiltration of the biological Cylons home planet. However, the pure weight of an all metal chassis precludes that.
Thus, we come to the crux of this idea. What would prevent the mechanical Cylons from drawing upon the initial concepts of their origins, to begin building various shapes and sizes of chassis as well as replacing the heavy metal armor and supports with light weight carbide and poly-ceramics?
By lightening them, getting rid of metallic parts, and creating them as close to human like as possible (think Terminators without metal, instead they use ceramics and carbon variations like nano-tubes and carbides) the only distinguishing difference would be skin.
Growing flesh over metal is clearly an issue long ago, and quite effectively solved by the Cylons.
It stands to reason, they would have used this to infiltrate the biological Cylons, since only a full body scan would notice the difference, assuming they dont build the infiltrators to be basically like humans in skeletal structure, disguising the components internally by making them in the shapes of biological internal organs as well.
Thus, we have the concept of the perfect sleeper agents, any race, any gender, any apparent age, any shape…
If we continue with this reasoning, it would then be just a matter of time, before they simply discontinue the now obsolete metallic chassis entirely, in favor of the easily disguisable synthetics.
This of course, begs the question of, capabilities. I propose that they would give up some of the advantages of armor protection and strength for the advantage of disguise and ease of production. After all, it is inefficient to runs multiple assembly lines when a single production line can turn out the same basic parts with only a difference of size and perhaps some minor cosmetic differences.
The idea that a species would give up some natural advantages to gain other advantages is actually proven in biological science. Many species today have lost body parts in favor of developing others, such as birds losing their arms and hands in favor of wings.
So to that end, the Centurions become less combat effective in one way, but by being easily repairable and capable of being disguised in a biological skin, if needed, they in fact are more survivable on the battle field. Much like the Sherman tank prevailed against the superior Tiger tank, by being quicker, and easier to repair or replace. (Admittedly the analogy doesnt exactly work perfectly, but you get the idea)
But this would mean the need for replacement Raiders. The problem is easily solved as well. The Viper proved to be superior to even the New Raiders, so it stands to reason, the Cylons would desire a fighter that could stand toe to toe with a Viper.
Given that the Cylons are now engaged in a very protracted war, possibly spanning most or all of the 150,000 years, or that it has waged the war on and off much of it, they would likely be fighting primarily in atmosphere in and around the biological Cylons home planet for a great percentage of it.
So we assume the new Raider would take a basic delta shape of a Viper. It would be designed to have a synthetic design Centurion pilot, and be built to be just as effective in as outside the atmosphere that the biological Cylons require to live.
A reduced mass of a light weight pilot, a single pilot, to further reduce weight (a major consideration when designing aerospace craft) as well as taking advantage of the pilots eyes to scan the sky quickly, in addition to the crafts DRADIS, would hint at perhaps something along the lines of the F-16 or Mirage-2000 or even Euro Fighter Typhoon. Small, lightweight, fast, maneuverable and easily adapted to the purposes required.
With a propulsion system capable of space flight, DRADIS, a neural link to the pilots CPU, and excellent atmospheric flight ability, it would be most effective against likely similar fighters used by the biological Cylons.
So we end up with all three sides now fairly equal in abilities, equipment, and form. In short, they are all well matched, with smaller distinct strengths and weaknesses.
What do you think?