Project Sahelanthropus or more commonly "The Mech Program" stands as the most recent and currently only successful Mechanized Anti-God Unit utilized by the CMC.
The Mech Program has had a long, secret and horrific history spanning back to the year 4004. With two previous versions being tried and tested, but never reaching deployment.
In 4004 the NIA Section 7 began its first Mechanized Anti-God Unit program under the name, "Project Ardipithecus". Which was quickly shut down after tests involving Synthetic Souls and adult Human Soldiers ended in all the candidates deaths.
The NIA refused to close the project entirely and twenty years later it was restarted under the name "Project Australopithecus". With more funding and a greater emphasis on research and safety the project lasted ten years before being shut down due to its location of research being discovered by a KenX raid. Although the project made very few physical breakthroughs it did lay the groundwork for Human-Synthetic Soul merging. Allowing future projects to focus on the physical aspects.
Problems of the past
Due to the limitations of the human mind, integrating a human nervous system with a machine is near impossible unless various procedures and operations are administered to the Pilot.
Due to the banning of any and all AI, and the strict CMC control of all Synthetic Souls has meant before the war no human had ever been merged with a Synthetic Soul. Project Ardipithecus showed the risks and largest problem when creating a "Second Skin" as some NIA officers have taken to calling it.
The Two Minds Problem
Although Synthetic Souls are not considered full AI, they are in essence a human level Artificial Mind with heavy inbuilt restrictions which limit its functional capacity to interact with other Souls or Humans as well as think freely.
It became clear very early on that a manned Mechanized Unit would not be efficient on the battlefield. However linking a Mechanized Suit to a human mind presented even more problems. To counteract this it became clear that a Synthetic Soul would be needed to aid the Pilot.
Early tests linking Synthetic Souls and Human minds lead to disastrous results and dozens of casualties. The more carefully conducted tests of Project Australopithecus successfully allowed Human minds to link with Synthetic Souls, but only for brief periods of time, certainly not long enough to be battlefield ready.
It became clear to the lead scientists of Project Sahelanthropus that any realistic future soldiers would need to have specific genetic markers from their parents to allow a better link to a Synthetic Soul. In 4089, 8 years after it began, genetic seeds were implanted in secret into tens of millions of pre-screened parent candidates. This massive operation was done entirely in secret and off the record due to its violations of several UPG and CMC laws.
This seed implanting was however a massive success. Producing hundreds of what would secretly be classified as "Homo superioris", Humans capable of not only mentally linking with Synthetic Souls but able to directly control them.
The Genetic Markers capable of making Human-Synthetic Soul linking possible were just one of any Markers added to the Candidate Parents to lead to better soldiers in the future. These Markers include:
- Markers that alter the higher functioning abilities of the brain
- Markers that increased Muscle tissue density and lactose recovery time
- Markers that alter the brain chemistry and reduce the need for REM sleep, at the expense of requiring specific chemicals taken in drinks in order to work to their full potential
- Markers that increase eyesight and ability to see in low light conditions and focus on an average of 18 different moving or stationary objects.
- Markers that significantly increase the healing fact of the human blood cells reducing injuries that would take weeks to recover from to several days. A side effect of this means that the skin is far more likely to scar.
- Markers that increase bone density and resilience to impacts.
- Markers that increase the reflex time of the individual.
- Markers that increase the effectiveness of nearly all organs within the human body which includes:
- Ability to absorb more oxygen through the lungs
- Increased efficiency of the stomach and intestines reducing the need for regular food intake.
- Increased strength and efficiency of the Heart to allow more oxygen to be distributed to areas of need.
- Increased efficiency of the Kidneys, reducing the effects of raw food, alcohol and poisonous chemical.
- Increased strength and size of a number of arteries and veins to allow a greater blood flow to the organs.
- Markers that significantly reduce the ageing process throughout the body.
These alterations in the genetic structure of the pilots is postulated to be possible to pass on to any children the Pilots may have, however unlikely that may be.