The Mikaeans are a sentient humanoid species which dominates the entirety of Known Space, inhabiting hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, moons, and habitat stations throughout space. The Mikaeans originate from the planet of Family Pride, which was colonized by their ancestors some ten thousand years ago, led by Mikael O'Neill, their creator and the individual from whom the Mikaeans take their namesake. Related to a much older though long forgotten species known as humans, the Mikaeans share many physical traits with the ancient species but through the actions of their creator have large diverged from the elder species.
The rationale for developing devastators is linked to the desire of the Mikaean Directorate's desire to create a compact weapons platform that could operate in various terrains and climates, all while remaining largely impervious to conventional weaponry and countermeasures. Furthermore, such war machines could be easily crewed by a few individuals while still possessing the firepower of several armored fighting vehicles. When the first prototypes were developed, though maintenance was a source concern, the devastators produced by the military were relatively affordable and possessed considerably more capabilities in the way of greater fluidity and adaptability in the battlefield. A single devastator at the time of serial production in TBD cost about ₢35 million credits, whereas a contemporary heavy land destroyer of the time cost about ₢8 million credits. As the technologies for the devastators were improved, the cost related to their production decreased. By TBD, the most common devastator, the TBD, cost ₢22 million credits, compared to the primary HLD which cost ₢9.5 million credits.
Given the versatility of the devastators, they became more and more commonplace in the battlefield, though they never replaced HLDs given that in the latter was still relatively inexpensive and well-integrated into the strategies and tactics of the military. However, the ability to better perform in the increasingly urban battlefields of known space, integrated shields and greater power supplies, as well as the less team-oriented and thus swifter response times of the devastators, made them indispensable to the needs of the Mikaean Armed Forces. In an economic sense, though devastators as a rule typically cost three to four times more than a land destroyer, the industrial complexes responsible for their production made them highly useful as a source of employment for the Mikaean populace. Many corporations have benefited from the production of devastators and their spare parts, as well as the underlying equipment and accessories required to maintain and assemble the war machines.
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