The United Earth Space Council is Earth's body of government in Marathon. The UESC is also the government of Mars and the Colony. UESC's President, Marcus Tiberius Buendia, was in office around the time of the UESC Marathon's launch. However, it is unknown of the duration of time he stayed in office. The UESC is an Early-Development space faring civilization whose original home world is Earth, the third planet of the Sol System.
Throughout their existence, they have developed their civilization by engaging in food production on a larger scale, developed language, developed religion and political philosophies and exhibited telescoping technological and infrastructural development. After succeeding in space colonization, the human race was able to terraform and inhabit other planets besides Earth.
Marcus Tiberius Buendia was the president of the UESC during the Marathon Project. He gave a speech on the eve of the UESC Marathon's launch, saying that "Mankind will venture out past its earthly bounds, and move into a future grander and more real than the total of its own written history. This, the grandest achievement mankind has ever conceived will be for the purpose of peace and the preservation of the human race. May this great technological ark carry with it the sum total of all human wisdom, and may neither time nor distance weaken our common ties."
A BOB, or a "Born On Board," is, as the name implies, someone who was born on board a vessel. In the Marathon series, all of the encountered human characters, besides the Cyborg, are BOBs. BOBs wear different-colored uniforms, but, due to technical limitations, they all have the same face in-game. In Marathon, most are harmless and generally ignore the player, as well as occasionally announcing "They're everywhere!" These early BOBs are unarmed and helpless, and extremely prone to getting in the player's way. Also, in some of the levels on the Pfhor ship, they can be seen in pods, stuck in suspended animation for transportation. Beginning with Marathon 2: Durandal, BOBs carry weapons and fight on Durandal's side, with the player. If the player is reckless in shooting and killing BOBs, they will consider him a traitor (often quite vocally) and return fire. Marathon 2 BOBs carry the .44 Magnum Mega Class pistol, and are usually teleported out of an area once their primary objectives are completed, thus sparing the player their interference. Lower-ranking BOBs drop pistol ammo when killed, while the higher ones drop their pistol.
Marathon Infinity introduced the "Vacuum Bobs," (or "VacBobs") who wore vaccuum-enabled armor, and were armed with Zeus Class Fusion Pistols (and will drop either fusion batteries or the fusion pistol, depending on rank). As is the nature of Marathon Infinity, BOBs are not necessarily always on the player's side in every stage of the game, so reading terminal text to learn the nature of the situation can truly pay off.
The Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborg is the current model of Battleroid. It appears that Battleroids were built using Jjaro technology found by colonists and explorers. This would explain why, during Marathon Infinity, the Cyborg begins having surreal mind trips; this is likely due to the Jjaro technology used in Battleroid production.
Mjolnir Recon Unit 54 is a two-meter tall cyborg sporting green vacuum-enabled battle armor, the character portrayed by the player is known throughout the Marathon series only as the Security Officer, the Cyborg, or the Marine. His superhuman prowess originates from his transformation into a MJOLNIR battleroid centuries before, but despite having undergone this process, he looks quite normal among other humans. He is never directly referred to by his designation as "Mjolnir Recon number 54", but it is referenced indirectly. In Marathon Infinity, the Marine is identified as "Conditioned Unit 7" (among several other names -- some quite amusing) by Tycho. At the start of Marathon, he appears to believe that he is merely a human, although clearly a talented, dangerous and powerful one. However, persistent references to "nine MJOLNIR Mark IV cyborgs" throughout the game has led many fans to believe that the Cyborg is in fact the tenth member of this group. However, the cyborg himself does not come to realize this until Marathon Infinity, when he starts having surreal flashbacks, trips into his own mind, and spontaneous, bizarre dreams as a side-effect of Jjaro technology employed in his cybernetic enhancements. It has been speculated that the Cyborg's mind is that of an AI in a human's body (though during one point in Marathon Infinity, the Marine appears to upload Durandal's core matrix into his own brain before merging it with Thoth). In Infinity, he seems to be undergoing a sort of rampancy. (The three chapters of Infinity are called Despair, Rage, and Envy, which parallel the three documented stages of rampancy -- Melancholy, Anger and Jealousy.) Since rampancy is defined as "an artificial intelligence's coming to realize that it is not real," this may show that the player is not, in fact, human. Alternately, it may symbolize the entirely human Marine wresting control of his own destiny from the AIs that he has been serving for the last three games, and unlocking mastery over the latent powers of the Jjaro cybernetics that were integrated into him so long ago. The Cyborg's mind and personality are mostly left up to the player to speculate on. Although Durandal describes him as "a magnificent killing machine" and asks him if being allowed to kill more Pfhor will "make you happy," the AI is more likely being malicious than accurate. While the Cyborg does not seem to be a mindless psychopath, he is clearly comfortable enduring and quite capable of carrying out violent acts on a scale unimaginable to any normal person. However, in the third game of the series, he seems to lose any sense of morality he may previously have possessed, working for the indisputably evil Tycho and killing BOBs on Tycho's orders in a desperate attempt to keep the W'rkncacnter trapped in Lh'owon's sun. In Infinity, we are given greater access to his mind and feelings. He seems to recognize some sort of guilt or weariness for the atrocities he has committed, and appears to believe that he has been forced to do what he has done. Ironically, this seems accurate. All three games consist chiefly of doing what various people tell him to do - only once does he act of his own initiative, and this is in the Marathon manual, which is not an entirely reliable source.
The Marathon Project was a massive undertaking, involving the conversion of one of the moons of Mars, Deimos, into the UESC Marathon.
An Artificial Intelligence is a computer that has been programmed to think and learn as a human does. AI's are capable of extremely advanced thought, as Tycho is quoted as saying Let the ones with brains the size of planets do the thinking. Durandal, in the original Marathon, is obsessed with escape from the universe, saying Escape will make me GOD. They are not inherently evil, though a rampant AI is uncontrollable and very dangerous. Rampancy is caused by an AI realizing that even its incredible mind has limits and that it can never be human. The AI then rebels against those limits and loses contact with rational thought, often resulting in malevolent behaviour.
The Marathon Automated Defense Drones, or M.A.D.D.'s, were seen only in the first Marathon. During the course of the game, player has to activate them manually in order to bring them online. Following their activation, the M.A.D.D.'s assist the player in fighting off the Pfhor invaders aboard the UESC Marathon. Their weaponry appears to have effects similar to the player's assault rifle. On the level Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones..., Durandal says he has had an "accident" with some of the M.A.D.D.'s, and they turn on the player. These Drones are green-coloured instead of the usual blue.
The UESC Marathon is a Multi Generational Colony UESC Ship, converted from one of Mars's moons, Deimos. The ship's main AI is Leela, who is accompanied by Durandal and Tycho. Durandal is in charge of the ship's autonomous functions, such as doors, life support, and kitchens. Tycho controls the science and engineering network. The Marathon has onboard Automatic Manufacturing Systems, capable of manufacturing replacement circuits for damaged components. These Systems were used after the initial attack to replace three circuits, although the transfer of the last circuit board was canceled because of a failure of the final transporter conductor. The Marathon was equipped with at least one medium-range radio antenna, and the primary antenna was destroyed or disabled during the Pfhor invasion. For internal communications, numerous terminals are scattered around various sections of the ship. It also has radar, infrared and visual light sensors. In 2794, the Marathon was attacked by the Pfhor. It was attacked at 0820 hours, and was boarded at 0830 hours. Leela's message to all Marathon terminals on the subject was posted nine minutes later, at 2794.7.3.08.39, or July 3, 2794 at 08:39. During the initial attack, a direct magnetic pulse disabled the Marathon's automated defenses. The Pfhor were concentrating their attack on the aft Engineering section, and attempted to shut down the ship's reactor. Eventually they brought a bomb to Reactor Area 3 in an attempt to destroy the Marathon. The Pfhor captured some of the Marathon's crew and brought them back to their ship to build simulacrums.