Starlight’s creation surprisingly did not come from one excessively wealthy man with superpowers such as “no common sense” and “unlimited cash”. No, her story comes from somewhere else. The very first conversation that idealized her conception came during an engineering and science symposium in Tokyo, Japan. Scientists not only from Japan, but from UNTIL and other countries, discussed many topics, and among them a group of UNTIL officers assigned to Japan spoke of the theme of robotics. Long had it been discussed the implementation of robotic units in UNTIL’s forces, but despite the increasing numbers, there was still something missing. Some surmised it might be a lack of emotional intelligence from the machines. Others thought it might be their general lack of specialization against mystical, unknown foes such as Takofanes, or their occasional susceptibility to control or conversion by foes such as Doctor Destroyer or Mechanon. Lastly, there was an element of Human adaptability that many robots tended to lack, often built to look imposing and powerful, but in doing so causing the very population to feel wary of their presence. Versatility in the field was also something Humans had and that machines didn’t often manage to emulate decently. The lengthy conversation led into considerations, and talks about a Metamaterial that had been under study by UNTIL’s Japan division for a while now. Named “SmartMetal”, the material was being researched for the purpose of uses in robotics. A combination of incredible durability, flexible usage as well as the ability to conduct immense amounts of energy without facing lasting damage made it a fairly ideal choice for the use in such fields.
While the final idea of the project didn’t come out of the symposium, the seeds that would be nurtured into fruition did. Months later, a group of scientists from UNTIL-Japan started contacting many of their likeminded companions, telling of them about their bold, daring new project, who had just been authorized by central command for testing. Within a year, a total of a hundred and fourteen specialists from multiple fields had been gathered and briefed in the project. Separated into teams, each group became responsible for the design and study of a specific aspect of the robot’s construction. One team for flight capabilities, another for external design, one more for weapons, and so on. With each team focusing on their fields before placing their ideas together, the team responsible for the robot’s AI was the first one to effectively act. First, they had to create an AI capable of not only intelligence, but emotional and instinctive intelligence. So was born Starlight, the first of the XBF units. Born as a child-like, near-emotionless and curious entity, she existed solely as a virtual unit, created under the specifications of the design teams and placed upon a simulated environment that was meant to replicate the real world. The idea is that it would be easier to control the emotional development of such a unit in a controlled, virtual environment, rather than simply stuffing her into a new, unknown world, in a super-powered body.
During a period of five years, Starlight was designed, studied and developed within the virtual environment. The period also allowed for a lengthier study on the SmartMetal research. Finding very positive results in Starlight’s virtual development, the teams saw the robot grow from a very basic AI into a very intelligent, emotionally-complex sentient being, one who had a powerful sense of purpose and duty. Her experiences within the virtual environment shaped her into a complex individual, with her own views, wishes and preferences, although still very much interested in being the creature she was meant to be. The final trial in the simulated environment came in the form of having the AI actually discover it was in a simulated world, and made her way out of it. Upon her fifth year of life, Starlight finally reached enough of her development potential to make her way out of the simulated environment. At such a point, her body had finally been completed, in its Mark I version. Downloaded into the new body, Starlight would be assigned to UNTIL-Japan’s workforce for practice and testing, and eventually was tasked with helping the Japanese Navy with defending its waters from the occasional super-powered threat.
Three long years passed since then, and finding a generally positive reception, the project moved on to create two additional virtual units. XBF-02 Emerald and XBF-03 Violet had already been in the virtual environment for a time, and were each coming closer from reaching the point of blooming in their development. Having an idea to provide each of the sisters with additional, individual development, UNTIL-Japan contacted its fellow units in other countries, and in time they agreed to a work plan. Starlight would be sent to UNTIL-US, for training and additional development under the American branch, while Emerald would be sent to UNTIL-Russia and lastly, Violet would be sent to UNTIL-Israel. Each of the sisters would be developed with a specific specialization in mind, and each of the country branches had something unique to contribute with. In America, Starlight was outfitted with a considerable amount of changes and upgrades to adapt her flight systems and combat modules, based on several of the technologies utilized in American jet aircraft, allowing her to specialize in high-speed, versatile combat, aided by remote mini-drones. Emerald on the other hand received many Russian-based implementations in weaponry and ballistics, as well as the latest adaptations on shielding and armoring studies, making her a highly-durable unit with immense firepower. Lastly, Violet received from the Israeli branch many of their newest technologies in communications, electronic warfare and field support, making her into an ideal support unit for the team. While they would only be deployed together, or even be introduced to each other many years later, their individual training would be underway.
Having been brought from Japan for continuation of her tests and advancement on her prototype stage, Starlight has since been assigned to the newly rebuilt Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, and has been allocated to train combat tactics, flight performance and overall aspects with the local personnel as well as the 99th Aggressor Squadron. Equipped with highly advanced, experimental fighters, the 99th constantly acts as an opposing force to Starlight during practices. Having recently been joined by her sister units, XBF-02 Emerald and XBF-03 Violet, they have since shown drastically improved combat data when working as a team. Recently, the incidents where Starlight has been more regularly active in battle have consisted of the latest resurgence of the Nightmare creatures upon Millenium City, and some localized strikes from Doctor Destroyer's mechanical forces. Following this assignment, Starlight has since been aiding in matters pertaining Millennium City, as well as having gone through a deployment in order to help deter the organization known as Fumui Gumi, a group of xenophobic terrorists who seek to erase the presence of any mystical being in the world, be they innocent or not.
Following that, and with a few deployments in-between, Starlight found herself working alongside the heroes Eclipse and Fight Club, aiding them in an investigation that helped uncover an abusive employee working in an Orphanage located in Millennium City. After recent events, Starlight has finally acquired enough combat data and experience for her latest modification, the EX form of her body, to be designed. Recently outfitted with the new form, she is getting used to the changes but has so far found that the overhaul has considerably improved her previous abilities.
Starlight is a surprisingly "Human" android, when it comes to interactions. She's sociable, talkative, has a decent understanding of people and is even consistently seen making jokes. Her adaptive mental core allows her to observe, learn and adapt with her environment and the people around it. She can be empathic, understanding and friendly to most individuals, so long as they mean no harm to the world or to those around themselves. In combat, she acquires a surprisingly instinctive demeanor, combining the functionality of a robot's A.I. systems with the edge provided by combat instinct. The full extent of Starlight's learning ability is still unknown, but her core is constantly adapting and improving her own way of doing things, optimizing her functionality, making her a better person and a better fighter. Starlight carries a very strong, protective instinct towards Humanity as a whole, and will go to great lengths to ensure that those harming it meet no success. Due to the characteristics of several animals, especially predators, having been implemented in Starlight's learning core, she sometimes gives a somewhat "animal-like" feeling, though the form and shape of that feeling generally varies. This was done in order to implement the hunting and perception methods of those predators upon her A.I. Sometimes she finds these additional instincts to be a bit bothersome, as they can lead her into feeling more aggressive towards something or someone she dislikes. Overall, Starlight as a surprisingly humane robot, capable of incredible acts of kindness and compassion, but also able to be equally ruthless against those who would harm Humanity. When not working, she has a laid-back, calm demeanor, enjoying acting as a simple girl without any need to be nitpicky about science and such. While she has a certain wariness against magic, particularly against those used by beings of other realms, she's still often willing to give them the benefit of doubt. She has a strong sense of humor to her, and is always appreciative of listening or being the one to employ well-timed comedy, and is known to love making movie, games and book references at times. She's typically very fond of those she calls friends, and can be very protective of them. Even more so, she adores and appreciates her sister units, XBF-02 Emerald and XBF-03 Violet. Starlight has a strong competitive nature that mostly borders on rivalry, rather than outright obsession. It mostly applies towards her sisters and towards a few specific friends.
Driven by a powerful sense of duty, matched only by a comparable sense of compassion and empathy, Starlight sees herself as proof of what Humanity can achieve with enough hard work, determination and creativity. Despite having been created as a weapons platform and seeing herself as one, she also sees herself as a person first and foremost, and such a thing is encouraged by her creators and her Project. This often is noticeable in interactions with her, and her mannerisms are often humane enough to the point that most people tend to have a hard time believing she's simply a robot. While a generally good person, Starlight holds a certain spiteful side towards beings who have historically sought to harm Humanity in the past and present. Beings such as Fae, Demons or Angels, for instance, are often seen by her with some degree of suspiciousness at first, due to the many tales, stories and confirmed cases where they actively went out of their way to cause harm or suffering to Humans. While she's willing to give them a chance to prove their good intentions, she is equally ruthless against those who show they see Humanity in a lesser, prey-like mind. Against those, she holds a terrible amount of spite and often makes a point of fighting them with enough fierceness to remind them to not underestimate mankind. That protective aspect of her mentality is shared by her sisters as well, albeit in varying degrees. Despite being eight years old, Starlight's mind is that of a fully-grown adult due to the way her programming works.
Looking unusually organic for an android, Starlight is an experimental bioandroid built with a material named "SmartMetal". An adaptive material, SmartMetal is capable of holding a texture and aspect similar to that of Human flesh, but with the ability to change, adapt and repair itself at impressive rate. As a result, those touching Starlight will find that she is rather soft, though application of enough pressure or strength will cause an increasingly feeling of hardness, displaying that the material that composes her body typically acquires very sturdy characteristics upon taking damage. Additionally, the metal's incredibly conductive and absorbing properties allow it to be powered directly by the bioandroid's core, which functions as the basis for its "inbuilt weaponry". In truth, small modules built all around Starlight's body are responsible for materializing her own internal energy, either in raw or solid states, and then utilizing it as weaponry. Internally, Starlight has a reinforced skeleton, and a few additional organs added for improved function. She is capable of eating food, and processing all of its nutrients to break it into raw energy, adding to her own pool. Her body normally feels slightly warmer than a Human's, and she weights a little more than an average person. Her small size can be a deceptive thing, naturally. For such a small robot, Starlight can well lift many more times her own weight, and can lift up to a truck's weight without using any of her thrusters. Her resilience is another remarkable aspect, being able to easily endure blows that would normally outright disable most people.
Unusually compact for a military robot, Starlight's appearance was built and inspired with the purpose of making her appear more friendly and relatable to Humans, which facilitates things for when she's interacting with them. As a result, she is generally regarded as "cute-looking". Her curvy build tends to aid with the aerodynamics of her flight, although one can also see small wings mounted upon her body, serving the function of canards that greatly improve her agility. Beneath her feet, she's observed to have wheels, and although she tends to walk normally with short distances, she's known to skate upon them when moving for a while longer, such as from one corner of a room to another. Her primary thrusters are located under her feet, with the secondary one being her "ears". Releasing energy from her palms also allows them to act as extra thrusters. Her most recent upgrade has moved her version to one named "EX", expected to be the final major body overhaul to be done in the bioandroid. This made her taller and more slender than her previous forms, and more streamlined. Acquired data from the constant trials and missions undergone in her Mark II version have been used to project the EX version, and as such she sees considerable increase in her overall combat performance.
As far as scents go, Starlight has an odd absence of those. Her "skin" is largely painted white, with blue and dark gray stripes forming lines and curves along her form. The odd strand of hair sticking out of her main hair mass seems to act as an antenna of sorts, at times. Typically seen following her or being docked with her canards, her External Auxiliary Pods are small drones that provide aid in battle, but can also serve as additional sensors for her outside of it, or even act as extra thrusters for very long or off-world flights. Lastly, Starlight's voice has been chosen by her creators to be soft, gentle and soothing, and generally ideal for giving off a friendly impression. As such, she typically manages to not be mistrusted or given odd looks by most Humans. She has also been noted to have a knack for humming and even singing sometimes.
Skills, Attributes and Traits
SmartMetal Body - Possessing a body built of a rare metamaterial named SmartMetal, Starlight is a high-performance, high-cost unit, and is one of the three only units in the world to possess such a body built of the material. Close in endurance and durability to Destreum, but lighter and more flexible, the metal's downside is that it requires a very high energy output to retain its properties. Once properly powered, it can easily receive and conduct energy, allowing a machine built out of it to project energy in and out of its body, making it far more versatile, as well as giving it an unique form of self-regeneration, making it also ideal for more fragile parts, as those are repaired very fast. Greater amounts of damage take longer to damage, or require proper maintenance to be fixed. Thanks to all this, Starlight's body has a great amount of strength behind it, with enough carried force to lift a truck above her head at the limit of her weight without the usage of her thrusters. Her durability is also commendable, and despite having only the second most armored body of her production line, she can still take a considerable amount of punishment without facing any decrease in her performance. Due to the bio-mechanical nature of the metal, Starlight is also incredibly resistant, if not outright immune to hacking or controlling attempts. Another downside of the metal is that nearly nobody know how it is produced, outside of those involved her in her project. The metal is known to take up to years to be produced, and the cost for producing a full Bioandroid's body out of it is slightly higher than what one might spend building a nuclear submarine. Once programmed into a specific shape, SmartMetal can be used to build essentially anything, and the metal will attempt its earnest to retain that form within a set of parameters, allowing it to be essentially be used to build every single part of a bioandroid, from its wiring to its armoring. The outer hull of a SmartMetal bioandroid feels soft and somewhat organic, but upon impact the metal is known to harden to better absorb impacts.
SmartParticles / Solitus - Initially a side effect, but eventually adopted as an innovation in Starlight's design, the two technologies are often employed in solid energy barriers, but functions differently for Starlight and her sisters. SmartParticle is the name given to the unique metaparticles produced by the circulation of fusion energy through SmartMetal, a particle known to carry the same adaptive capabilities of SmartMetal. Much like SmartMetal can adapt to situations and be used for every single piece of a machine's body, SmartParticles can be used to regulate the wavelength of a machine's weapons and shielding module, allowing it to slowly adapt from acquired data in order to become vastly more efficient against an opponent the longer they stay in an engagement against it. Solitus is the name given to SmartParticles when manifested in the form of solid light, and acts like a material that can be utilized to produce barriers, objects, physical rounds and so on. A noticeable effect of the usage of SmartParticles is the presence of a glowing, star-like trail in the wake of its usage, with Starlight's name coming from the cyan-colored trail left by her engine exhausts.
Cold Fusion Microreactor - Dual Cores - Unlike the name implies, Starlight's reactor does not produce freezing energy. It simply means that the fusion, nuclear reaction necessary for the production of energy occurs at room temperature, rather than at the typical incredibly high temperatures of regular nuclear cores. Incredibly compact, the microreactor is built within an armored orb located deep within Starlight's chest, and produces enough energy to power up her body as well as sufficient energy for long-term engagements and high-performance combat. Unique to Starlight, and not found on her sisters, is a dual-core system within the microreactor. A prototype and still testing feature, the dual cores, when in sync, can greatly increase Starlight's power output, up to a total of 378%. Currently, due to its prototype stage, she can only maintain the dual-core sync for a total of 197 seconds, just barely over three minutes.
Armaments - Starlight does not appear to carry any external armaments other than her drones and her tail. In order to maintain better operational and electronic stealth, most of her weapon systems are built within her body, in the form of electronic modules that receive energy from her cores and materialize the desired ammunition outside of her body. Thanks to this, her weapons module allow her to produce a considerable arsenal of weaponry for her usage when necessary, ranging from physical rounds made of Solitus, missiles, micro-munitions, aerial mines and beam or blast weaponry. This allows Starlight to adapt to a combat situation with great ease, and to switch weapons depending on what target she might be facing. Due to the presence of the SmartParticles within the solid light that is used to produce the weapons and its projectiles, her weapons can adapt to be particularly efficient against beings of mystical, magical or otherworldly nature, by constantly reconfiguring itself through acquired data and gradually becoming more efficient against an enemy. This translates as an ability to deal far greater damage the longer she stays in an engagement with such foes, as well as an ability to cause permanent death or lasting injury on them.
Hull and Shielding - Starlight possesses considerable durability, and can endure a fair share of punishment in combat, though ideally she prefers to not be hit if she can avoid it. Hull is the designation given to the armoring provided by her own SmartMetal body, while Shielding is used to specify the energy shielding modules. The former is more durable than the latter, due to its density and greater adaptability, although her shield plays a considerable role in allowing her to keep flying accurately without losing to inertia upon being hit. The energetic nature of her shielding allows her to be hit by attacks and keep her flight route so long as her shields do not fall. A secondary role of her shields is to also minimize air resistance during flight, and as such she can fight the fastest if she has her shields up.
Auxiliary External Pods (AEP Units) - AEP Units, also known as "Pods", are small, portable drones carried by Starlight and typically docked upon her main wings. Equipped with their own internal batteries, the drones act as versatile combat units when deployed, controlled by Starlight through her command module. While they do not carry the same firepower as her actual body, or her sheer shielding capability, they are able of both attacking and defending with incredible efficiency and accuracy. One deadly tactic utilized by them is for Starlight to launch all of them at once and attack an opponent from multiple directions, minimizing its ability to react to all of them as well as allowing her openings for direct strikes. If commanded, the Pods can function as powerful missiles, although they are destroyed upon detonation and have to be replaced after combat. Once docked to Starlight's body, they can act as additional thrusters, allowing for her to use more agile movements or to fly at greater speeds if she does not launch them. Once their energy is depleted, Pods must dock again upon Starlight's wings to be recharged.
Wings - Built with a a flying functionality in mind, Starlight's body is greatly adapted for aerial combat and more often than not, she engages combat while flying, even if indoors. Starlight has a total of two main wings and ten winglets, also called canards. The main wings serve the purpose of providing primary aerial control for her flight, in order to allow her to easily glide and retain attitude so long as she has enough propulsion, while the canards serve the purpose of providing her with incredibly accurate supermaneuverability. Spread all over her body, the winglets can each move individuality, based on her instinct and control suite in order to give her unparalleled flight agility and aerial control. Few machines or living beings can boast to be able with Starlight's graceful and precise agility. Both her main wings and winglets also have control surfaces to help improve their functionality.
Engines - Starlight is equipped with two pairs of fusion propulsion thrusters, with two located behind her ear vents and two behind her lower legs. Each engine can be fine-tuned to produce either minimal amount of thrust, enough to simply keep her afloat, or to release far more thrust in order to allow her to fly. One of her greatest strengths, Starlight's engines give her immense speed and incredible agility when combined with her wings. Her maximum combat speed outdoors is close to Mach 2, while indoors it might be reduced depending on the obstacles present. When outdoors, Starlight can direct much of her reactor's power to her engines in order to attain up to hypersonic speeds, in modes called "Supercruising" and "Hypercruising". Supercruising is typically used to rapidly move from one city to another, and is generally shared by Human aircraft. Hypercruising on the other hand is a maximized form of Starlight's engine propulsion, allowing her to fly at astounding speeds, but largely limited by situations. Hyperspeed cannot be used in low altitude, and is typically only used in great emergencies to move around the world or outside of it. While at Hyperspeed, Starlight can reach the Moon's surface in roughly half an hour.
Starlight currently has no specific, long-term lovers. She tends to wind up having one or other fling here and there, but hasn’t so far found herself in anything like a serious, committed relationship. In the past, she had a crush on a man named William Blue, nicknamed “Bill”, as well as in a Paladin of the Catholic Church known as Logan Holmes. Currently it’s unknown if she has any further crushes.
- XBF-02 Emerald – Sister - Her first sister unit, Emerald stands as the serious, protective and diligent sister of the trio. Having a fierce nature and being a competitive woman, she sometimes finds herself at odds with Starlight, but with the passing of time she has learned to trust her sister, and both have been very supportive of each other in recent times. This still doesn’t prevent them from nurturing a healthy sense of competition.
- XBF-03 Violet – Sister - Her second sister unit, Violet often acts as the voice of reason among the group, or the mature older sister. Much like Emerald, she is very close to Starlight, and despite Violet’s occasional egocentric ways, she is still a supportive member of the team and a caring sister.
- Logan Holmes – Close Friend / Potential Crush - A Paladin of the Catholic Church, Logan is one of the great positive influences in Starlight’s life. A relatively common Human, but blessed with unwavering faith and a caring heart, the man often stands as an example of what kind of greatness even a regular Human can achieve if they dedicate themselves enough to it. A staunch ally and one of Starlight’s first crushes, she still considers him among her closest friends and the two occasionally spend time together.
- William Blue / Bil – Close Friend / Former Crush - Another close friend, Bil, formerly Bill, has been something of a road full of ups and downs for Starlight. Standing as the very first genuine love of her life, Starlight and Bill once dated, although a few things and severe changes in his life had led her to feel incompatible with him. Although the two tried again on a few occasions, the timing never seemed to be right, and ultimately Bil found his love somewhere else. Despite this, they still remain close friends.
- Eclipse / Gabriel King - Ally - A recent new acquaintance of Starlight, Gabriel is a caped hero who acts as an ally and mentoring figure for another fellow hero, Fight Club. While she hasn't known him for long, she's appreciative and fond of the man, due to sharing similar morals and views to him, such as a no-killing policy. Tends to hold a degree of concern for the man due to his tendency to reserve his feelings to himself as to not trouble others.
- Fight Club / Daniel Weil - Ally - Another recent acquaintance, met more or less at the same occasion as Gabriel. Daniel is something of a brash, sometimes reckless caped hero, with good intentions and a wish to do good, but having so far met too many obstacles. Having sought to help him out, Starlight tries to act as a helpful ally to him when she can. She holds a soft spot of compassion and respect for his willingness to try and do the right thing despite not only being new to the hero business, but also not having any metahuman powers.
While her reputation is not yet as vast as those of very famous heroes, Starlight and her sisters are somewhat known among those who keep an eye out for robot-themed heroes and such. They’re generally seen with a positive outlook and reviews by those who have seen them in action, and their sociable, emotional interactions with Humans on so many occasions have led a number of people to feeling comfortable and trusting towards the robots. Similarly, UNTIL, Japan and America’s military forces, to some degree, have a generally positive opinion of the sisters, due to their cooperation on a considerable number of operations by now. Law Enforcement tends to be helpful and cooperative to Project Vertigo and the sisters, a result of their long-standing cooperation during their stay in the United States. PRIMUS has a slightly less positive view due to minor clashes against UNTIL, but still hold an above-favorable view on the robots.
Starlight's factory version, also known as Mark I.
Starlight's second version and her first major overhaul, Mark II.
Starlight's lastest version, Mark EX.
- Starlight is a Bioandroid - the description is often specified to robots that are capable of emulating organic features. In her case, she is capable of eating, drinking, sleeping, among other things;
- Among her favorite things, flying is one that she considers the most enjoyable. She has multiple times considered that if she ever retires she might likely work as a Stunt Pilot;
- Starlight doesn’t have blood. Instead her body has a faint flow of liquid SmartMetal. It glows in cyan colors, and is generally employed to repair her outside of combat. As a result her very flesh is also cyan-colored in the inside, which can be seen in the inside of her mouth;
- While she can walk, Starlight typically moves around on the ground by skating on her landing gear. When in a locked position, she can freely walk around without skating;
- Starlight’s favorite food is cheese-flavored Pringles. Her favorite drink is coke;
- Her average body temperature is slightly higher than an average Human’s, making it feel akin to a person with a fever;
- Starlight’s vision can switch between a Human-like version with no numbers and lines or HUD, and an active version that implements what one might expect to see in an interactive interface for a robot. She can also observe things using her drones’ point-of-view;
- While people are not aware of such, Starlight often has little tabs open in her virtual frame, and is known to multitask quite effectively. It’s not unusual for her to observe a video or listen to music while still holding very functional interactions with others;