So, you might be asking yourself, "if we're using 1980's-level weaponry here, how are Ziiro and mharr fucking sentient robots?"
Well the answer is: Cyrstals. Japanese crystals!
According to Kiryu-Kai data, this strange crystal is apparently of unearthly origin. Moreover, its internal structure is incredibly complex, with a network of microscopic pathways filling it entire volume in a manner suspiciously similar to an organic brain. When exposed to eletrical stimuli, these pathways grow and reorganize themselves accordingly, forming new connections and breaking down old ones; in other words, it behaves just like a biological neural system. It is also able to store and release energy in a highly controlled manner.
The Kiryu-Kai experimented on these shards extensively and finally found a way to 'awaken' them, resulting in creation of some sort of consciousness. They did not have the time to find any practical applications for these, but if we finish their research, we might have a powerful tool to help us in our effort. Or perhaps a better term would be 'powerful allies'?
Alenium Shard Awakening
The Kiryu-Kai legacy contained extensive documentation on development of thought patterns within Alenium crystals. Considering apparent lack of sufficient theoretical base and the disjunction of this knowledge from Earth science, such information can only be assumed to have come from some extraterrestial source. Effectively technical and start-up documentation, it should enable us to 'awaken' an Alenium Shard into a state of consciousness not unlike our own. Such an intelligence is capable of learning and self-improvement. Moreover, if sufficient care is exercised, it will be predisposed to align itself with us, although the process takes considerable time. Once mature, it achieves characteristics to easily link itself with a variety of technologies, like robots or intelligent weapon systems.
These Alenium-based AI units are used to control drones and other mechanized units. They can fit a number of chassis designs, which can be swapped in the same way as human armors.
An awakened Alenium Shard is automatically assigned a scout drone chassis to enable it to interact with the environment.
AI units work exactly the same way as human agents. Instead of human armors they have robotic chassis they can be plugged into. If no chassis is selected, the AI unit automatically uses the Scout Drone chassis, which comes with the unit at no additional cost. If an AI chassis is destroyed in combat, we can still recover the unit by the AI Unit Restoration transformation.
Since AIs have a degree of consciousness, we should think of them as living beings rather than machines, with their own needs, thoughts and preferences (though mostly simple or limited). For this reason, an AI takes one space in living quarters.
Which leads us to Ziiro and mharr's current bodies, these janked-up rink-a-dink door-opening shitboxes:
Love this mod.