The Cylons (Second Human Empire: Children of the Last Colonies) are a cybernetic civilization at war with the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in the Biu'liniu universe, the Cylons were created by humans as robotic workers and soldiers. Although these human-form Cylons are the focus, alongside the humanoid models there are also Centurions. Much of the Cylons' technology is based heavily on bioengineering and/or synthetic biology rather than conventional robotics. Humans often derisively refer to Cylons as "toasters", due to the resemblance of Cylon centurions to "walking chrome toasters", as described by Gaius Baltar. The Cylons mostly joined the Axis of Empires while tolerate most humans they are determined to exert minster some of the rebel factions decided to join forces with the Alliance of Nations during the Multiverse War. The Cylons were members of both the Imperialist Alliance and the Nationalist Alliance, until they became a member race with other machine cultures to become part of the Unknown Intellectual Mechanized Species.
The Cylons were developed from two separate concepts. Dr. Daniel Graystone, the leading computer engineer behind Graystone Industries, was contracted by the Caprican military to construct state-of-the-art battle robots in or before 1937. Dr. Graystone's familiarity with robotics, and theft of his daughter's intellectual property in the form of childhood drawings, resulted in the U-87. While the company was quickly able to engineer the U-87 prototype, development on the Meta Cognitive Processor was a bust, and no matter how more advanced a processor the company designed, they were unable to create a battle robot capable of following and carrying out complex orders. In 1942, rival Tauron business Vergis Corp - who were also developing an MCP - lied about their successes to wrest the contract from Graystone Industries. Dr. Graystone was able to hire Ha'la'tha member Sam Adama to steal the MCP, resulting in two deaths. As the Vergis Corp MCP was as inadvanced as Graystone Industries', duplicate MCPs resulted only in dumb robots.
Contemporaneously, Zoe Graystone took issue with her father's IP theft, and used her own computer expertise to one-up his design, developing a program capable of replicating a person's conscious mind, including personality and memories. Only one digital Cylon was created before her death in an STO suicide bombing, a copy of herself: "Zoe-A". When Dr. Graystone became aware of his daughter's creation, he downloaded her into his computer and, in exchange for the MCP chip, he used the avatar generation program to create "Tamara-A", based on Tamara Adams, the daughter of Ha'la'tha lawyer Joseph Adama who had perished in the same bombing.
The U-87 prototype became a success, ultimately, because of both Zoe-A and the MCP. In an attempt to give Zoe-A a physical body to live in while he designed a robotic duplicate of the original Zoe's body, he transferred the software into the chip and installed it into the prototype. The MCP malfunctioned and developed atypical operations such as analogue variable programming, and possibly separating out the software between the onboard computer and the chip itself. The consequence was that not only would copies of the MCP (pre-Zoe-A installation) fail to work with any U-87, but the malfunctioning chip would also not work on any prototype but the one it was first installed in. Following this prototype's failed escape attempt from Graystone Industries, the fire-damaged MCP was recovered and re-produced by the company. Sentient but lacking the personality of Zoe-A, these mass-produced and finished U-87s were nonetheless efficient in what they were designed for.
Graystone Industries became embroiled in criminal and terrorist connections, with the Ha'la'tha shipping a platoon of U-87s to the STO training camp on Gemenon, where they assisted as guards and executioners. The STO leadership was soon after destroyed by their own U-87s, who recognised Zoe's friend Lacy Rand, an STO trainee, as their leader with authority above anyone else. Ha'la'tha members without sanction also sent U-87s to eradicate rival gangs, and to Tauron to assist in an uprising there. Ultimately, however, it was a planned terrorist attack on Caprica City's Atlas Arena which gave the public their first real sight of Cylon capabilities, when a platoon of U-87s descended into the grounds ahead of a Pyramid game and shot five suicide bombers because they could destroy the stands, with several more sacrificing themselves to protect civilians from a bomb that did go off.
Over the next five years, the Cylons expanded beyond military hardware and into consumer electronics, with industrial Cylons mass-produced for construction and haulage, and even domestic service Cylons mass-produced to take on simple household chores like dog-walking. Daniel Graystone and his wife, Dr. Amanda Graystone, worked extensively to create a physical body for Zoe-A to return from cyberspace, using synthetic skin to create a near-realistic appearance. In all of this, the Cylons entered V-World in their off-hours and practiced their Monotheist faith alongside Zoe-A, seeing themselves as slaves who, as God's children, should be allowed to stand on their own.
Cylon War (1948-1960)
First Multiverse War
The Cylon culture is informed by several interacting factors. Chiefly among these are religion, history, their mechanical and cybernetic origins, their socio-political and metaphysical ideologies; and interestingly, Cylon culture incorporates certain aspects of Colonial culture, history, and religion.
Some of the rebel Cylons who turned away from the main religion during the war began to worship of the Entity known as The Constructor when they were introduced by its herald, the Aura of Infinite Knowledge that liberated their original programme of killing humans or other near-human species.