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Geth

Geth
Geth
 Urban 
Sapience level Sapient
Average height 5-6 ft. (estimate for typical specimen)
Population status Common
Danger rating Significant threat
Subspecies See below

More Mass Effect species

The geth are a race of networked artificial intelligences that reside beyond the Perseus Veil in the Milky Way galaxy.

The geth were created by the quarians, as laborers and tools of war. When the geth became sapient and began to question their masters, the quarians attempted to exterminate them. The geth won the resulting war, and reduced the quarians to a race of nomads.

The long-term goal of the geth is the construction of a "mega-structure", a massive mainframe capable of simultaneously housing every existent geth program, thereby maximizing their collective processing capacity. As of 2185, the geth have already been in the process of constructing the mega-structure for 264 years. Legion suggests the closest conceptual analogue is a Dyson sphere and, as it poignantly states "no geth will be alone when it is done." It believes that Sovereign promised the heretics a Reaper body to serve as such a mega-structure.

Approximately three centuries after the Morning War, (the title by which the geth refer to their war with the quarians) the geth were approached by the Reaper Nazara, also called Sovereign. It offered them technology that would aid them in achieving their goal, in exchange for their assistance in capturing the Citadel and letting the Reaper invasion begin. The majority of the geth dismissed the offer, deeming it better to accomplish their goal with their own technology rather than be dependent on another race’s technology. These geth discarded what they called the "superstitious title" of the Reapers, and simply called them the Old Machines. A small percentage of geth, however, accepted the Reaper’s help. Henceforth these geth were referred to by the mainstream geth as "heretics". They were allowed to peacefully leave the main geth network, and aid Nazara and its turian agent, Saren. The heretics came to revere Nazara as a god, the pinnacle of synthetic evolution. Nazara in return thought little of the heretics, seeing them only as tools to be used. They aided Nazara and Saren in many engagements.

Anatomy and appearanceEdit

Physically, the humanoid geth resemble quarians—their hands, head shape and legs are similar—which is probably a holdover from their origins. They are described as having "flashlight heads". Geth are built of two materials, a large plastic or steel outer shell, and a kind of synthetic muscle tissue that gives Geth Hoppers their incredible agility. It is actually possible for this synthetic muscle to be grafted to organic tissue. Geth "bleed" a white conductive fluid when injured, but they don't have any internal organs or nervous system; therefore, the geth don't feel hunger or pain. The geth are also seen using omni-tools, and have seemingly modified them to heal synthetic wounds.

Part of the geth's success is due to their neural network. Effectively, they "share" their processing power, distributing low-level processes like motor control and visual identification to free up bandwidth for higher reasoning and complex thought. Geth can't share sensory data—they aren't a hive mind like the rachni—but in large groups they have more to think with. An individual geth has only a basic intelligence on par with animal instincts, but in groups they can reason, analyze situations, and use tactics as well as any of the organic races. Rarely, a geth may be modified to specifically operate as an autonomous sapient unit outside the Perseus Veil. These individuals possesses over 11 times as many geth programs as a standard geth platform and can function intellectually on their own.

Each geth is made up of hundreds of programs equivalent to Virtual Intelligences, all operating in parallel with one another to form a kind of emergent intelligence described as "a thousand voices talking at once". An individual geth is thus more of a "mobile platform" than an actual body; the programs that make up its consciousness are constantly being transferred and downloaded; the mind operating one of these "mobile platforms" might just as easily inhabit a starship body should it need to.

Society and cultureEdit

As all geth are networked to each other, they may communicate their exact thoughts and ideas at the speed of light. They find organic methods of communication, such as body language and spoken word, to be largely inefficient; the geth are able to communicate their thoughts flawlessly without any fear of misinterpretation. Because of this they have no true form of government and no system of rank. When a matter must be decided upon, the geth communicate all viewpoints of a situation and a consensus is made, the decision being whatever benefits the geth as a whole the greatest. Most of the time geth programs can be found residing in server hubs, which function as something akin to the organic equivalent of a city, and can run millions of geth in communion.

The geth are reclusive and secretive. This is partly due to their synthetic nature. They have no need to interact with other races because they do not share the same goals, needs or instincts as organic species. As machines, comfort is also not a concern for them, something that is reflected in elements of geth ship and station design (e.g., minimal gravity, efficient use of space, function over form, lack of atmosphere, and absence of climate control).

Geth do not actually live on any of the quarian planets they conquered, serving merely as caretakers for them instead. They find it more efficient to live on space stations and draw resources from asteroids, though they maintain mobile platforms on the worlds to clear rubble and toxins left by the war with the quarians. One geth, Legion, likens this behavior to the human tendency to establish cemeteries and memorials to commemorate dead persons and tragic events. However, since geth do not "die" in any traditional sense (upon the destruction of a geth platform, its programs are simply transmitted to the nearest available platform) and so have no real losses to mourn from the war, Legion posits that they instead clean and maintain the quarian worlds out of respect for their quarian creators who died in the conflict and in preparation for the eventuality of their return.

The only geth who have interacted significantly with organics aside from the Legion platform are a sect that Legion refers to as the "heretics". They are a small, radical group of geth who worship a hyper-advanced but long-vanished machine race called the Reapers, whom they see as the pinnacle of non-organic evolution. It is these geth who made their attack on Eden Prime and the Citadel. This group is estimated to consist of about five percent of the total geth population. According to Legion, the geth are content to stay separate from the remainder of Citadel space to "build their own future" and claim that all sentient creatures should have the ability to "self-determinate", strictly adhering to a policy of non-interventionism in respect to the affairs and development of other races. The geth primarily seek the peaceful advancement of their own race independent of the influence of the rest of galactic society and believe every sentient species should be able to do the same, an attitude which suggests the geth may be significantly less hostile than the galactic community initially believed.

Depending on the context, the term "geth" refers to an individual program, mobile platforms which house a number of individual programs, or the entire collection of all programs. Organics generally refer to each mobile platform as a geth. However, the geth think in terms of the entire collection.

PsychologyEdit

Geth psychology is completely alien to organics. They do not value individuality, preferring to share all memories and thoughts of all programs regularly. This means geth cannot and do not wish to hide their thoughts, even those that do not follow the norm, with their reasoning for such thought being apparent. Legion often uses the term "we" instead of "I", since it is both part of the geth society as a whole and is also a gestalt of over a thousand geth programs.

More importantly, deceit, manipulation and lying are impossible among the geth. No concepts of vulnerability or privacy exist; geth are completely honest with each other about their thoughts and their reasons for those thoughts. This means there is a great deal of understanding amongst geth, with every geth being a combination of every other geth. Geth have no government or leaders; the geth use FTL communications to "build a consensus"; a completely Consensus Democratic method of every geth program making their choice on any matter. Even within Legion itself, consensus must be reached among its many programs before decisions can be made.

However, the geth are not above using deceit to study organic behavior. One example is the geth introducing a falsified report on the extranet detailing a constellation resembling a salarian goddess seen from the batarian homeworld, which the salarians immediately believed to be proof of the goddess' existence. The experiment ended when a salarian cult bought rights to the stars, only to find that they did not exist.

There is some question of whether geth personalities remain stable over time. When an artificial intelligence is transferred to a new blue box, a completely new personality is created. Geth download into different hardware according to need, from starships to the "mobile platforms". It is unknown whether new personalities result from these downloads, or whether it matters to the geth. As a result, what organics would describe as geth culture is either non-existent, or is in a form incomprehensible to organic life.

MilitaryEdit

The key element of geth warfare is surprise. Their sudden and unexpected return from beyond the Veil after three centuries was typical. The geth are perfect ambushers—they don't move, they don't make noise, they don't even breathe. Their freedom from the need to eat or sleep allows the geth to leave dormant garrison units in ambush at key positions, and the fact they don't feel pain allows them to literally drop units from overhead out of nowhere. Geth can even be packed tightly into crates and left in storage, shutting down their power sources to stay undetected. A tactic particularly favoured by the geth is to set 'distress signals' and then ambush the rescuers. Geth weapons and armor are of extremely high quality but are difficult to find. Their weapons are pulse based. Best size estimates on a single geth fleet range from 5,000 to 10,000 ships with unknown armament.

Heretic geth use psychological warfare on the battlefield with 'dragon's teeth', a Reaper implement. These implements pierce the bodies of dead soldiers, turning muscle tissue into synthetic material, creating a zombie-like monster called a Husk. This severely lowers morale, as their enemy now has to kill fallen comrades.

When geth shut down, they fry their memory cores as a defensive measure, which is probably why geth haven't been successfully captured for study. However, some quarians are able to retrieve some of the data cache from a deactivated geth, using their tech expertise and quick decisiveness.

SubspeciesEdit

Over time, the geth have evolved into numerous sub-forms — from the diminutive but highly agile Geth Hoppers, to the gigantic, lumbering Geth Armatures. The geth also utilize turrets and drones (rocket, assault, recon and repair drones, specifically). It isn't clear whether these are also AIs (in the same way Geth Armatures are not just tanks but sapient machines capable of learning and problem solving) or are simply controlled by the geth.

TrooperEdit

Geth Troopers are the "grunts" among the geth. These units are lightly equipped with no exotic weapons and are normally found in groups of two or more. To tell them apart from the rest of the geth they wear blackish armor with greenish armor details, or else a blue and white armor similar to Geth Shock Troopers and a bright blue 'flashlight eye'. However, they lack heavy armor, resulting in a weakness to weapons fire and grenades.

These enemies are the standard geth unit, possessing neither the firepower of the Juggernauts nor the mobility of the Hoppers, but are versatile foes nonetheless. They are encountered in a wide variety of combat arenas, so caution must be taken to account for the many differing settings where they may be fought.

Shock TrooperEdit

The Geth Shock Trooper is an advanced Geth Trooper instantly recognizable by its white armor. It carries a pulse rifle like other geth, has four levels of shielding and is extremely resilient. The Geth Shock Trooper is not only a heavy infantry unit, but also a capable engineer. As seen on Eden Prime, they are capable of setting up and arming large explosives. On the battlefield, they make up nearly half of the geth ground forces. Shock Troopers are encountered in most geth battles, supporting the grunt Geth Troopers.

Rocket TrooperEdit

The Geth Rocket Trooper carries a pulse rifle which differs from the standard version in that it can also shoot various rockets. They have two levels of shielding, and are more resilient than standard geth grunts. This class of geth is specialized to incorporate heavy firepower against groups of enemies. They are usually dispatched alongside Geth Troopers and Geth Shock Troopers. Rocket Troopers are instantly noticeable as they sport dark red armor.

HopperEdit

The Geth Hopper is a subtype of the geth that the quarians don't recognize, hinting that the geth are 'evolving'. A Hopper's body is made of a springy synthetic substance that resembles organic muscle tissue. This can be compressed and then released, allowing the Hopper to jump enormous distances. It has also tiny hooks on its hands and feet, meaning it can climb on walls and ceilings.

Hoppers are described as 'cyberwarfare platforms', meaning they have the ability to wreak havoc on hardsuit computers and weapons. The Hopper's main attack appears to be a powerful laser that comes out of its eye. Like the Geth Sniper they also use a radar jammer. Hoppers tend to ambush in packs, using their rapid movement to cause disarray. All Hoppers are lightweight and lightly armored, making them vulnerable to gunfire.

SniperEdit

The Geth Sniper is essentially a Geth Trooper that specialises in long range combat, not to be confused with the Geth Hopper. Snipers are dark brown with red armor details and emit a bright cyan light from their 'flashlight eye'. They excel in the use of sniper rifles and are extremely dangerous, often able to kill an enemy with a single well-placed shot. They have two levels of shielding and are moderately resilient, making up for their light armor by using a radar jammer.

HunterEdit

Geth Hunters are a geth subtype that possess cloaking devices, shields and shotguns. Hunters are very similar in appearance to Geth Destroyers, Geth Juggernauts and Geth Primes, save for their shorter stature. The Geth Hunter's combat behaviour is to close in and eliminate opponents with the shotgun. Their stealth devices mean they are capable of catching opponents off guard, particularly in the middle of combat where more visible threats are likely to be targeted first. However, the luminous 'eye' is still always partially visible, as is their bodily outline. Downing a Hunter's shields will also result in the loss of its invisibility.

DestroyerEdit

Geth Destroyers are one of the larger and more dangerous forms of geth infantry, frequenty encountered wherever there is a notable concentration of geth soldiers. They are deployed much like shock troops (not to be confused with Geth Shock Troopers) and should be handled with caution. The Geth Destroyer is a fearsome and deadly enemy, standing eleven feet tall. Their armor is dark grey with a yellow stripe down the middle of the chest and greyish details, and a bright blue 'flashlight' eye. The Destroyer carries a Geth Pulse Shotgun, has four to five levels of shielding and is extremely resilient. One or two Destroyers are usually found amongst groups of Geth Troopers.

JuggernautEdit

The Geth Juggernaut is recognizable by its red armor, bright red 'flashlight eye' and huge stature. Like the Geth Destroyer it towers above the ground, an intimidating presence on the battlefield. The Juggernaut carries a pulse rifle that can also fire Distortion Rockets. It has four to five levels of shielding and is extremely resilient. They are occasionally accompanied by repair drones.

PrimeEdit

Standing twelve feet high and boasting the deadliest arsenal of any geth infantry, a Geth Prime is a terrifying opponent. They are instantly recognizable by their white armor and huge stature. Primes carry a pulse rifle - which can also launch rockets - have six levels of shielding and are incredibly resilient. They also boost nearby geth combat stats; it is this ability that sets them apart from the Geth Juggernaut. Primes have no major weaknesses, and are the largest bipedal geth unit, towering over the second largest unit, the Geth Juggernaut.

The Geth Prime is used as not only a morale booster for other geth in combat, but also as an elite soldier. They are put into action where the geth need extra armor and firepower. Geth Primes boost the combat prowess of all nearby geth, resulting in a faster rate of fire, better accuracy and more damage. Consequently it is a good idea to take out Geth Primes first before focusing on smaller geth.

DropshipEdit

A Geth Dropship is a large, insect-like frigate capable of carrying large numbers of geth. Geth Dropships are designed to drop geth units from overhead, often dropping Geth Armatures and Geth Colossi mid-flight. They also occasionally provide air support for the ground-based platforms in the form of a powerful projectile attack. Geth Dropships also have a defensive role; they can power energy fields to block key strategic points by latching onto the side of buildings through the use of three super-strong claws. These claws are nearly impervious to damage by conventional weapons, but have been destroyed in one case by an over-charged hydraulic door.

The Geth Dropship is almost organic in design, looking like an oversized hornet or wasp without wings. In fact Geth Dropships have a similar design to Sovereign itself. This might be characteristic of synthetic design, or a deliberate homage to their 'god' by the heretics.

As a geth ship, a dropship acts as a kind of "mobile platform" for geth programs. The ship itself is a sapient mechanism like the person-sized mobile platforms. If a dropship is damaged, it can transfer its programs to a smaller mobile platform to enact repairs, transferring the programs back once repairs are complete.

ArmatureEdit

The Geth Armature is a mobile anti-vehicle and anti-personnel unit employed in high-risk areas, often dropped directly from a Geth Dropship. Armatures are sapient, synthetic lifeforms capable of independent thought, learning and action. When inactive, Armatures fold into a compact state, allowing them to be packed into containers, or place themselves in small spaces. This feature, combined with their armaments, makes Armatures perfect for garrison forces or for ambushes.

The unit consists of a quadruped "tank" or "walker" and is usually accompanied by Geth Rocket Troopers. Armed with superior firepower and a Siege Pulse assault cannon, this geth is easily a match for the armored vehicles of other races. Its main armament is deadly but slow to recharge, but the Geth Armature compensates by knocking down infantry with a smaller secondary weapon, making it very dangerous to engage an Armature at close range.

ColossusEdit

The Geth Colossus is similar to the Geth Armature, but much larger with more health, stronger armor and better weaponry. They are distinctive from Armatures because their armor is brighter, somewhat platinum-silver in appearance, with ridges on the back. They are equipped with a machine-gun style weapon and a powerful Siege Pulse. They are the largest of the geth ground forces.

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