A group of biological engineers has created an army of dangerous chimeras to fight its enemies. But how do the engineers keep the chimeras from attacking them instead of their enemies? How do they keep them from attacking civilians on the battlefield? How do they get them to concentrate on a specific target?

Assume that any technology they would use to do this would be biologically based and no psychics or telepathy is involved.

Okay let me be more specific.

  1. The engineers are very advanced but most of their technology is biologically based. So they won't be using robotics or other technologies that aren't biologically based.

  2. There are three groups of land-based chimera.

    • Group 1 is called hunters. Their size would range between that of a large dog to a small horse. Overall intelligence of a hunter would probably be that of a chimpanzee.
    • Group 2 is called Titans. Godzilla size chimeras. With intelligence around that of genius level dog. Only used in specific operations.
    • Group 3 of chimeras serve as the engineers Special Forces. They have human or near human intelligence. Their mission is to take out targets behind enemy lines.

As for the engineering goals, they want chimeras that won't attack civilians unless the engineers want a civilian killed for some reason. They also want them to attack specific targets like a general for example.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Bryan, while this has the basis for a great question at the moment it's just too broad, I can think of 5 or 6 possibilities right now and there's no way for me to tell which are better than any others. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 22 '16 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ Because it's a human-ape chimera and retains the intelligence to take orders. Can you be more specific with what they've actually created? The level of intelligence of the chimeras, how perfectly the control must be, etc. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Feb 22 '16 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ I can still fit quite a broad range of options to the question. For example, your question would be satisfied by careful training procedures, which is exactly what the military has used for military horses and military dogs for generations. It could also be implemented with a complex pherimone based system to create a queen-bee like effect. It could also be implemented with a kill switch to prevent misbehavior. It could also be implemented by mind control, like what fungi do to ants in the rainforest. Any one of those very different options fits your needs as written. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Feb 22 '16 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ I think that's getting more clear. Its clear enough to raise an interesting question for you: what differentiates a civilian from an enemy combatant? That question is often very difficult for human armed forces today making urban combat a living nightmare. Have you explored what, in your world, may differentiate a soldier from a civilian in a way a chimera could sense? Alternatively, you might depend on a friendly soldier to make that distinction for the chimera. I'd be tempted to assume the approaches are different for the different categories. Its definitely something worth digging at. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Feb 22 '16 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ Yours is a problem of Command, Control & Communication of non-humans by humans. How do we currently control animals? Training. The problem is the "fog of war" and not very intelligent "soldiers" being separated from their commanders by miles (unless you have their human master/trainer/squad leader go with them). $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Feb 23 '18 at 3:50

Can you see the battlefield in order to direct the battle? If so, then you can either directly communicate your orders to your chimera troops or otherwise communicate who the targets are.

Direct communication

Infrasound is apparently used by elephants to communicate over long distances – the low frequency acoustic waves travel further than the frequencies more familiar to us, particularly at certain times of day. You could broadcast a signal to all your troops in this manner, although I think communicating with specific units would be more tricky. Either you could send each unit a message sequentially (time-consuming) or send each unit a message on a slightly different frequency. The latter method is how modern radios work with EM waves, but discriminating between acoustic waves isn’t as easy. You’d have to engineer a type of chimera with an internal acoustic tuning organ, and then somehow manipulate that organ to tune each creature so that they would pay attention to a specific frequency.

Using a much higher frequency you can communicate more information over a given period of time, and in the case of ultrasound it’s much easier to envision a targeted beam of sound being sent at a specific chimera to command it to attack/move/wait… (This ‘beam’ could be created from as simple a set up as an emitting source and a funnel pointed in the right direction.)

In both of these situations I’m imagining the source of the signal is another bioengineered creature: either a full animal that you poke in a specific way to get it to emit the signal you want, or little more than an organ-on-a-stick that can be used to transmit your message over whatever frequency you’re using.

Communication of targets

‘Paint’ your targets (or the cover they are hiding behind) somehow in order to direct your chimera troops to attack the right people/locations.

Visual cues could include shining a focused ray of ultraviolet light across the battlefield. It would be visible to chimera troops engineered to see a wider spectrum than we do (as some insects can) but remain invisible to the naked human eye. (How to produce such a light ray using a biological mechanism is a bigger puzzle.)

Scent cues would be another possibility. I think in this case you’d need an in-between step in your attack plan: maybe insects that could be bioengineered to hone in on a particular type of person (some mosquitos have a preference for different blood types) or a particular material you know that the opposing troops will be wearing (armour?) or carrying (weaponry?). The chimera troops will then be trained/engineered to follow the targeting insects. Insects can be bred/engineered more quickly than full-grown chimeras, so if the battlefield conditions change next week you’ll only have to recalibrate your target vector, not the following troop unit.

I have to admit, these only go part way to fully controlling your chimera troops, and I haven't yet had inspiration for the targeting of a specific, high-value target.

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The best answer for me is regular training, like dogs in police or military.

Through proper training, they can give orders to dog (find drug, track a scent or attack a specific person) without being distracted by surrounding or civilians.

So in this case, you can select chimera based on their docility in order to get chimera that can be trained like any domestic animal.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually dogs wouldn't be so docile without selective breeding. $\endgroup$ – enkryptor Mar 2 '16 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ That what I said: you can use selective breeding in order to increase docility, like the Russian Domesticated Red Fox. The main risk is to loose an useful trait during process (in the Russian experiment, the fox morphology where altered) $\endgroup$ – Metushael Mar 2 '16 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ Docility seems like the sort of trait you wouldn't want in your battle chimera. $\endgroup$ – derrylwc Feb 19 '18 at 19:10

Maybe you could use:


You train the less intelligent one to recognize some pheromons as ennemies and others as allies, then you just have to launch some gas grenades full of thoses pheromons. And if you want to mark someone as an ally inside the zone you've gassed, just give them a perfume bottle so they can mark themselves as allies.

This should work as well to target a building for the bigger creatures

Light target

You could also teach them to hunt the persons targetted by a laser (like cats actually). If you want the people not knowing you're taking them as target, just put the light inside a non-visible range for your ingeneer specie.

This solution could be a good complement for the first one in close combat (a little laser is way lighter than a full weapon), ad it would let you attack sinle target or people who escaped the gas.

Simple photograph

For your most intelligent creatures, a photograph should be enough as well as simple explanations.

They could even be the one who lead the other creatures using the ways I spoke of.

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  • you give them carrots/sugar and hope they like you

  • all animals have will

  • they'll eat you if you taste better then carrots/sugar

point is give them drugs and hope they wont find the taste of your blood(see bear attacking resolve); considering you send them to do dirty jobs inside your specie you'll be food soon; it would be best if the chimeras would have nothing to do with killing as you would be at the end of the claw one day.. but hey no thrill-no frill even though you might be the end of your kind :D

as a side note if you do dirty jobs why wont other do them on you.. and in this case why would a such an advanced creature be needed when all you need is a toothpick/bullet.. not even silvered?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how well this answers the question. You've addressed the part about the chimeras not attacking their creators, but you haven't addressed the primary question, which is how to get the chimeras to attack specific targets. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Feb 19 '18 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ realy dude.. you give them carrots/sugar and show them a picture of Bush $\endgroup$ – user688056 Feb 19 '18 at 15:46

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