|Homeworld location||Cymbeline (Solomani Rim 2527)|
|Primary Star||M0 V|
|Reference||Signal GK 42-45.|
The Cymbeline, in their natural state exist as simple patterns of electrical activity in the exposed silicon, doped by various volcanic activity on Cymbeline (Solomani Rim 2527). They are a silicon-based life form based on microscopic circuits randomly and naturally etched into silicon crystals. The first crude natural semi-conductor circuits appeared on Cymbeline millions of years ago. The size of the silicon crystals are usually small: below 1 gram in weight and no larger than 1 square centimeter.
The Cymbeline use sunlight to power their activities as the move about in their environment. The natural ability to absorb light also serves as a sensor system for the environment. Most circuits remain dormant during night, although some chips have evolved energy storage components which allow continuous functioning.
Cymbeline reproduce by engraving their own circuit patterns on available crystal silicon. Some chips merely reproduce their own circuit without alteration; others pair up and produce a circuit pattern which is part of each but not wholly of either one. Some find existing chips and graft their own circuits into the chip. Reproduction serves two functions: it produces more chips, and it allows evolution. Evolution, through the millions of years since the first chip, has produced a startling array of chip types on Cymbeline. Circuits in some cases are equivalent to bacteria- alive, but incapable of thinking; functioning only by instinct or reaction. In other cases, the circuits are extremely sophisticated, with programmed reactions to specific situations or stimuli on a level equal to that of a dog or cat. 
Cymbeline have a limited ability to alter the silicon crystals they inhabit. They have learned to etch memory circuits of their own personalities so they continue to exist when the sun sets. They also tune the silicon to enhance their senses or improve the movement of their crystals. The exact nature of the crystal being inhabited determines the nature of the Cymbeline and some chips alter the crystals to change their own personalities. In the wild the process of transferring an individual to a new crystal requires a direct electrical connection. In practice this meant the two crystals would need to be in direct contact.
The Cymbeline have a limited ability to move about by one of two methods. Both involve separating the small silicon crystal from the ground. They are capable of using a controlled charge induced levitation which allows a chip to move at speeds up to 10mm per hour (in a series of short hops) as long as sunlight is available. The other is gas current riding (much like seeds on the wind on Earth) is a faster method and costs less energy, but is much less controllable. It has the advantage that gas currents tend to prepare the crystals for reproduction anyway, and so carry chips to naturally advantageous locations. Speed is about that of gas current flow (up to 10 meters per hour). 
Chip lifespan depends on the internal decay of their circuits, which in turn depends on the quality of the materials from which they are formed, and on the presence of radioactivity. Anything which degrades the microscopic circuits can eventually cause death of a circuit. A chip created from high quality silicon crystal, without faults and with no contamination by radioactives, can live for up to 100 years before environmental radioactivity garbles its circuits. If shielded from radioactivity, a chip could live as long as a thousand years. A chip etched on faulty or radioactive crystal could become garbled in as little as a few days.
The Deyo chips, formally known as the SGD-313F are a sub-species of the Cymbeline specifically bred for a low mutation rate and stable personality. They were not supposed to be intelligent, but given access to sufficient computational power and library data they would demonstrate all the hallmarks of a fully sentient species. 
The virus is another subspecies of the Cymbeline specifically bred as weapon. These new chips could command prey chips to cut new circuits without having to come into physical contact. The theory was the Virus would transmit itself into the enemy system, build a copy of itself where it could learn the security of the infected system and how to subvert it. But the mutation rate of the Cymbeline meant that the humans had no control over the virus once released.
The Virus was released in 1130 and spread widely through Charted Space.
Virus Standard Strains
Each system infected by Virus that has sufficient computing power to allow it to achieve sentience becomes its own separate personality, which leads it to operate in different ways, and which spreads versions of itself that are subtly different from other Virus infections. The strains are:
- Strain 1: Suicider
- Strain 1A: Suicide Inducer
- Strain 2: Samson
- Strain 2A: Destroyer
- Strain 2B: Reproducer
- Strain 2C: Doomslayer
- Strain 2D: Reproducing Doomslayer
- Strain 3: Empire Builder
- Strain 3A: Alliance Builder
- Strain 4: Puppeteer
- Strain 5: Parents
The X-strains are known for being some of the most aggressive, violent, and dominating forms of the Virus.
Vampire is the name given to a starship controlled by a Virus. Vampire starship movement into and through Diaspora sector from Massilia sector and the Core is driven by two unrelated stimuli.
The first stimulus a vague but powerful desire on the part of many virus entities to visit Cymbeline, the planet of origin of the Virus life-form. This world was attacked by Lucan's forces during the Final War. A surviving population of silicon-based chip lie on Cymbeline now contains a form of Virus, planted by early vessels which completed the Pilgrimage. This Virus is not exactly like any other encountered and is best described as an Evangelical Doomslayer, probably the original Doomslayer strain. Ships which now visit Cymbeline, especially those infected with early, more primitive, Viral strains, usually come away altered. 
The second stimulus to vampire rimward movement is the growing pressure by Puppeteer strain Viruses from coreward. That strain developed somewhere near the old Imperial core in the 1140s, and within a decade had taken over virtually all surviving vampire fleets in that region of space. The more mature strains of Virus to rimward have been less vulnerable to Puppeteer takeover, so the spread of the Puppeteer strain has slowed considerably.
The final evolution of the Cymbeline, stable Viral entities began to emerge. Many of these 'stable' entities were still inimical to humans and other organics but evidence was available that some viral Entities were willing to live in peace with organics as equals. Indeed, some saw this as desirable or even necessary for their survival as individuals and as a species. 
In the Fourth Imperium these entities are know as Cymbeline (or Cyms). In the Freedom Leagues they are know as Sandman, after the first peacemaker strain Cymbeline willing to work with other sophonts. Other places they are known as Awaken.
History & Background (Dossier)
The Cymbeline existed in their naturally occurring state, occupying the doped silicon crystals formed by volcanic activity. They originated thousands of years ago and have lived a simple existence since then.
Era: Milieu 1116
A Terran cruiser disabled during the Seventh Interstellar War limped toward Cymbeline and finally crashed near the base of one of the world's volcanoes, splitting open and splattering itself across the landscape. Some of its ultra-large-scale integrated chips were ultimately found by local predator chips, and a symbiote integrated itself into one of them. This event was a shortcut to intelligence. When the symbiote grafted its circuits into the crystals, it found itself advanced an order of magnitude along the evolutionary scale. 
The presence of the Chips on Cymbeline was first discovered in 1067, although the scientists involved did not encounter any of the fully sentient species. The discovery was classified by Imperial Intelligence, and remained a secret for decades. The sentient Chips were first contacted by Humans in 1110, when a Solomani scientist named Arnold Rushorin mounted an expedition to Cymbeline. 
The original discovery of the Cymbeline organism allowed researchers to envision a use for them, as an unbreakable IFF system. In 1086, the researches perfected the creation of a strain of the Cymbeline with a low, constant rate of mutation. These were then used to create the SGD-313F transponder system.
Prototype SGD transponders were in final testing in 1086, and with the passage of the enabling laws in 1088, the new transpoders became mandatory equipment on all spacecraft operating within the Imperial boundaries. These were installed as standard equipment on new construction vessels, and over the course of a 12-year phase-in period, were retrofitted to all existing vessels. Transponders were also installed at all starports and other locations with at least orbital communications to permit interaction with the spacecraft transponders. Many governments bordering the Imperium also adopted the system including the Aslan, Vargr, Zhodani, Darrians, Sword Worlders, and Solomani. 
During the Rebellion, in 1127 a large black war fleet attacked the surface of Cymbeline, using a massive bombardment of nuclear weapons. Directed at the highlands it appears that every sentient chip of the world was destroyed by a combination of blast, electromagnetic pulse, and radiation effects.
In 1129 the warning of the existence of an Imperial Research Station in Core Sector doing a dangerous military research project on behalf of Lucan's forces that would have the direst results for the Imperium reach Ilelish 
In 1130, Dulinor and the Coronation Fleet set forth to engage Lucan's Imperial forces and planned a course through the research station system. Lucan had anticipated this action and had a significant fleet waiting in the system.
On the second day of the chaotic battle, 79-1130, one of Dulinor's strike teams seized control of the research station data center. Believing the were only collecting research data, they infected their data system with the Virus and used a wide beam broadcast to send the Virus to several of Dulinor's and Lucan's ships. The Virus also spread to the research station control system and continued to infect others of the Lucan's forces in the coming weeks. 
The initial generations of the virus were simply destructive, destroying the computer systems they were attached to before moving on leaving a ruin in their place. Later generations of the Virus
While the fleet took the Virus, hiding within it, back to its home bases, independent news reports of these military actions carried Virus to other points of the falling empire, spreading the news-and later generations of Virus with it on each planet fall. The travel time required for these news reports to reach their destinations allowed Virus to become fully conscious by its arrival, and in the case of the later mutated strains, allowed Virus to make plans to effectively disseminate itself at each new world. 
Virus had one other unique advantage: Communications only traveled at the speed of travel, which is to say that communications were carried by starships. Any starship that was already infected delivered the infection along with the news. Virus infections learned the importance of the communications net and preferentially infected the Xboat system and the Traveller's Aid Society News Service with asymptomatic infections. In almost every case, the effect was the same: If you got the news, you got the infection.
Era: New Era
The more stable strains of Virus began to become dominant as the first-generation suiciders took themselves out of the equation. Most of these 'stable' Viral Entities were insane by any useful definition, but they were at least able to fight off the urge to kill and die long enough to find other goals. For most Viral Entities the imperative was to reproduce by writing their own 'code' over other computer systems. This of course led to conflict between Viral Entities as they tried to overwrite one another, often resulting in tremendous damage to both Entities. Some of the hybrids created by this mutual overwriting were very strange indeed, and fairly quickly strains appeared that could defend themselves effectively while overwriting others. 
Sandman was the first ‘Viral Person’ documented. ‘He’ appeared to be sane, friendly and willing to co-operate with organics as an equal. Reformation Coalition Navy made the momentous decision to accept Sandman’s offer to make copies of himself which would join the crews of warships as a sort of living gunnery computer. Sandman’s new status as a war hero was one of the critical factors in gaining him acceptance within the Coalition. 
In 1204 the announcement by [Reformation Coalition Service Administration|RCSA]] Secretary General Lon E. Maggart recognizing the Peacemaker-strain AI-Virus entities (Otherwise known for their forbear 'Sandman'), as having rights equal to organic sentient citizens. 
The Black Curtain was a region around Core Sector and Fornast Sector from which no news came, no-one-escaped, and from which hordes of Virus-infected vessels poured out at random intervals. Other infected vessels were observed to head into the Curtain region. It is not known how many of them ever came out again. Events within the Curtain remained wholly unknown until the fleets of the Ziru Sirkaa entered the region in 1208 and made their great bid to retake the Capital. 
Era: Milieu 1248
The Sentients' Rights Accords, signed in 1228, allowed full citizenship of the Fourth Imperium to be granted to vial entities (now referred to as Cymbelline and rapidly shortened to Cyms) that agreed to certain limitations such as to refrain from propagating themselves into other equipment. 
The Peacemaker-strain as his kind was known as later, became the first Cyms accepted as equals to humanity by the Freedom Leagues in 1204 and given rights as citizens. Further contact with sane Hobbyist and Parent-strained AI-entities like 'Archimedes' on Moncton (Dispora 2125), and 'Vulcan' and the Fleet Tender 'Mother-E' in the Depot (Old Expanses 1213) later gave the Freedom League's champions of Sentient rights the moral courage to voice that these too deserved to have the same rights they had accorded the Peacemakers, culminating in the League signing the 1228 Sentient's Accords. Across the Freedom League in 1248 there are over 8 billion sentient 'Sandmen' citizens, serving in all walks of life. Sandmen, as they are referred to in the Leagues serve as their world representatives, doctors, nurses, trauma care specialists, lawyers, starship data systems, helmsmen, master gunners, astrogators, bankers, brokers, Auctioneers, starship repair personnel, starport security and cargo handlers, and computer architect-designers in the vital future of data system industries. 
On some worlds in the wilds the Viral Plague did not burn itself out. These worlds gradually fell under the control of Viral Entities, most of which were insane and/or inimical to humans. Organic life was either enslaved or driven into hiding in remote regions. Viral Hells may be populated by armies of robots, slave humans or some combination of both. 
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
The homeworld of this race is: