“Oh, Teacher Sora’s a right fine sight, easy on the eyes, if you like your women VERY tall. She teaches the young’uns and some of the old ones too right in all manner of subjects at that little schoolhouse, and she raises some right tasty yams on that little spread of hers. I wouldn’t underestimate her, though, because she IS one them She-mar gals, and she’s got the hardware to prove it. She can drop a bandit a mile away with that there long gun she has tucked away somewhere on her property, and if the bandit has friends, well, she can whistle up her big ol’ steed from the barn. We don’t get many bandits ‘round these parts, though, not since we buried Dirty Larry’s bunch of robbers, or rather what Teacher Sora left of ‘em for us to bury, on the edge of town. Word gets out and around that our school marm kills armor, and the rats start looking for easier pickin’s.“
The Unattached are a tiny minority of free-willed Shemarrians who do not wish to be attached to any one Tribe, or follow any particular philosophy. In this, they may represent the ultimate expression of free will among the Shemarrians.
No Home of their Own
The reasons for being Unattached vary; some simply can’t cope with the many changes brought on by the Ecotroz Cultural Revolution and Shemarrian Civil War. Others seek to be masters of their own lives, seeking glory and honor wholly for themselves. If one subscribes to the idea that the Ecotroz Intelligence is a conglomerate mass of once-embodied individual beings, then the Unattached might be those misfits and individualists who don’t wish to be part of the greater whole any longer. Others become attached to outside causes and persons that may conflict with Shemarrian society, and follow their hearts.
For whatever reason, these Shemarrians drop out of mainstream Shemarrian society to pursue their own personal path. While most are solitary, occasionally one may encounter groups of 2-6 Unattacheds forming their own mini-tribes.
Unattacheds are often confused with Eccentrics who range from Tribe to Tribe trying each on for size and personal ‘fit’. While many Eccentrics are Unattached, not all Unattached are Eccentrics. Unattached may, but rarely, return to a Tribe, but most prefer to follow their own courses.
Inside the borders of the Shemarrian Nation, Unattacheds take a more public presence, often settling within the villages under the Shemarrian Nation’s protection. They may take up the position of local champion, handyman, or mystic. Some take up humble professions, such as farming, blacksmithing, tending orphanages, or schooling the locals. Others become field agents for the Shemarrian Nation, facilitating what trade (mainly in raw materials and occasionally in technologies of interest) the Nation conducts with outsiders. They may take a local mate or consort and take up residence in the community, eventually blending in, but ever ready to take up arms in defense of their new neighbors.
Being Unattached is both an adventure and a great danger for the Shemarrian. Being Unattached means the gynoid does not enjoy the support and protection of a Tribe, and does not benefit from the many Rites of Upgrade or achievement awards as their Tribal kin. They do not have ready access to Progen and Assembler Forges (this would require going to a Tribe and petitioning for their use, perhaps even negotiating a fee). Also, Unattached make tempting targets for those with an axe to grind or a score to settle against the Shemarrians, or just want to bushwack one of the warrior women for the challenge (and maybe a slave). For that reason, outside the borders of the Shemarrian Nation, Unattacheds often take up hermit-like existences, or remain continually on the move to avoid getting pinned down.
Equipment and Repairs
Unattacheds are typically armed and equipped with older-model equipment, or whatever they can salvage/scrounge/acquire from other sources, rather than the newer gear that would otherwise be standard issue to Tribe members. In order to get more up to date Shemarrian gear, an Unattached will likely have to trade for it from a Tribe.
While many in the Tribes look down at Unattacheds with disdain and even contempt, for the most part the Tribes are tolerant of them. Encountering an Unattached, a Tribe may offer them repairs, spare parts for Warmounts and weapons, ‘common domain’ upgrades and modifications (like improved self-repair or software patches), and incidentally use the occasion to try to woo the Unattached to rejoin the Tribes.
And for their part, not all Unattacheds cut themselves off entirely from the Tribes. Most will pass on any and all information they come across that may be important to the Tribes, and offer their homes as waystations and supply caches for the Tribes. They will also sound the alarm if enemies move into Nation territory, and the Tribes WILL respond to calls for assistance from their Unattached kindred. Many remain in constant contact with the Shemarrian Nation via their radio networks, passing on word about local happenings, weather conditions, and other points of interest. To those living within the borders of the Shemarrian Nation, having one or two Unattached Shemarrians taking up permanent residence in their community is a reassurance, a sign that their protectors have a very real presence in the region and an immediate presence in their neighborhood. If something were to threaten the Shemarrian Nation and the Shemarrian people, such as a Splugorth invasion, then the Unattacheds would readily rush to join and support their Tribal kindred in repelling the threat.
In the Three Galaxies
Unattacheds are less common, population ratio-wise, in the Shemarrian Star Nation, but there are occasional hermits and loners, most of whom take up residence in remote corners of Shemarrian enclave worlds, on small space stations, or in nomadic spacecraft traversing SSN space. A number of Unattacheds, for instance, have taken up residence in the Central Alliance, where their bionic/robotic nature accords them instant status amongst the cyber-conscious Alliancers.