Another in our ever-growing list of extraterrestrial allies, The Collective came to Earth to help us fight the Qualaar, for reasons unknown. Those who’ve interfaced with The Collective assume the two races have some long-running dispute, but nothing has been confirmed.
Although the entity we call The Collective appears to be a small humanoid robot, in fact it is an amalgamation of many tiny ships, or machines, each piloted by an individual, or group of individuals, of The Collective’s race (they have never offered any kind of name for their species). The Collective appears to be a social species similar to earth’s ants or bees. The ‘voice’ of The Collective comes from a specific individual in the society, one who calls itself a “sub-queen” (that is at best a rough translation).
The species remains shrouded in mystery. No one has ever seen an actual Collective individual. How many individuals make up the robot we see is unknown, though xenobiologists suggest the number is at least in the hundreds and probably in the thousands. Exactly how the parts of the ship/robot interconnect is also not understood. Experts theorize it could take virtually any shape, but the sub-queen choose this configuration in order to make first contact less confusing. And in truth for many weeks after The Collective first arrived, xenobiologists assumed it was a single entity; a robotic life form.
The Collective’s long term goals are not known, but thus far it has proved to be a powerful ally in Earth’s fight against the Qualaar and other super-villains.
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The Collective built itself. I didn’t plan it. I just fired up the character creator and started messing around. I wanted to play with the Power Armor framework, and I’d seen all the robot-part options, so 2+2, I decided to make a robot. Then I kind of twisted it a bit, deliberately skewing the proportions: it’s a bit scrawny, has humorously long arms and is tiny. Well, tiny to us. Suddenly it popped into my mind that it could be controlled by a tiny alien. Then I got the idea of a whole bunch of tiny aliens, and finally a kind of hive-mind.
It’s a very straightforward character. I used the Pre-Set Power Armor selection, and of course gave it JetBoots as its travel power. This is the first character I have that can fire several powers at once. I toggle on the wrist bolter (energy builder) then hit the Eye Beam. This auto-fires for a few seconds. (and so cool…eventually the beams burn through the target and hit stuff behind it). While that’s firing, I charge up the Power Gauntlet attack, and let that rip. It’s a really devastating combo so far; we’ll see how it scales. At level 8 I added a Targeting Computer which can recover some of the energy spent firing all these weapons.
The Power Armor package comes with Strength & Intelligence emphasized and I was following that pattern at first, but lately I’ve been putting points into Endurance to build up the power pool a bit. Not really sure what Strength is doing for me, to be honest.
The Collective was the first character I took through the Canadian Crisis zone. That zone just doesn’t feel as polished as Burning Sands, to be honest. I’m not sure I’ll go through it again, though CanTANKerous is in there now.