This is a race of robot-like entities that like to explore and collect data for their giant Archivery. They typically travel in groups of three, where one is the archivist, one the medic, and one a warrior to protect the other two. The archivist has a protective memory, and any attempt to access the data without permission results in a deletion of all data acquired. They also tend to adapt to the environment they are going to, developing a frame similar to the life-forms of the planet they are investigating and adopting the language - they are very fast learners.
Since they're made that way to resemble the life of the planet that they go to,the ones met on Mars are made to resemble humans since they were exploring Earth.
They do have genders and object to being referred to as 'it'. They have very distinct male/female behavior patterns, although they don't all fall into line with our perceptions of them. They are not programmed, they're completely random and based on their experiences. Their personalities can change. The purpose of male and female, well, the human translation, is that they can replicate themselves and it's much more beneficial to mix traits and individuality to create a new individual than just to clone themselves.
Of course, it's definitely not done the way humans do it even if they do in ways resemble humans. Outward appearance means little to a Xaibar since outward appearances change, other than it's not decrepit and unhealthy - they take into account personalities. Other Xaibars, not based on humans, look far more ... alien and machine-like.
They are 'created' with certain abilities at their disposable, usually inherit to their forms. For instance, Triage is a medic, she can fix her fellow Xaibars. She didn't learn the basics, they are programmed into her frame and she has access to them, but it's separate from her personality. They learn VERY quickly and add to their knowledge, plus they usually have knowledge from their 'creators' experiences.
Their memories and 'brains' don't work the same as a human brain in that it's split into various parts and not even located in the head, but in the chest where it's most protected. Their personalities are far more valuable than technical information and therefore, more guarded.
They don't really 'build' them. It's a complex thing to create a new Xaibar, because you have to have the proper machine to build the body. Essentially, they begin as a chip/small encoded device with the basic patterns of life that are then interface with a machine that deciphers and communicates with it and begins building a body while the personality core of the Xaibar develops and 'matures'. It takes time for it to sort through the information its given and decide what its original frame will be as well as personality/orientation.
Sparks are the first and basic form of a Xaibar before they get their other frames. This is their HOME frame. It's usually much smaller than the other frames and once they've outgrown it, is rarely used, although... they may have to make use of it to more easily wander the halls. Triage's basic form is used a lot, simply because it's the most convenient one for her abilities, but most are generic frames. *You don't want a new and perhaps clumsy Xaibar with a frame that can cause serious damage to himself and others around him if he/she is not mature enough to know how to use it properly.
As they develop, they acquire various frames which they store in subspace and switch around their central core as needed.
There are big differences in such a way that there are actually four different 'genders', two extremes and two moderates. The extremes are definite opposites, while the moderates are more alike, although still opposites. Triage is a moderate, she's feminine by human standards and is considered the opposite of Flashback, whom is an extreme on the other end of the spectrum.
They're referred to using Female and Male because it's easier to identify that way, even though it's good to keep in mind that's only their translation. Females are MUCH more dangerous than Males as a general rule. They're quicker to pull arms to protect themselves and much more likely to take out the offender. The male side on the other hand, has a more laid back mentality. They can be dangerous when provoked, but physically they are equals, because their build is not as strongly dictated by their 'gender'. The Moderates are less bulky. Extremes are power houses.
And they DO learn and pickup how they should act exactly like humans, by watching their 'elders' and taking after them.
Built in skills are like the files on your computer you can never delete. Acquired skills can be purged, that's about the only difference. They can be stored in the same place and they to have the ability to compromise and be ingenuitive with their skills, applying them to more than they're intended for if necessary. There's a bit of redundancy in technical information. And their brain, which is a separate thing from their core, is extremely modular and all Xaibars can access another's skills, but not their memories, since the memories are part of the core and the core is very different. It's completely energy around a crystalline storage matrix. Of course, even having the skills may not be advantageous if their frames are not built to use them. If a part gets shot off, it's replaceable and the redundancy of course, keeps the information safe as they have multiple storage areas as well as backups. It's really next to impossible to kill a Xaibar unless the core is breached and the energy escapes. They are their own tools.
The built in skills are added later, because they won't necessarily take the same skills that their creators had. And they are put into a virtual world to communicate with those in the same stage of development and it is like that, and their personality can be guided to an extent as it's forming. It's like with people. You may start out one way, as a blank slate, but events and environment will change you a little to adapt to it and look for it.
Xaibars have complete control over their own reproduction. They can only physically create a number of new Xaibars and due to the almost immortal nature of their kind, they usually don't do it excessively. The group of Xaibars on Mars is probably among the youngest and they're thousands of years old. Their original creators are long... long gone.
It would be impossible to make a technofamiliar out of a Xaibar.
Although it is unclear exactly what happened, the Xaibars on Mars were apparently captured by the squid while on Earth, and possibly had their memory tampered with, before being shut down and shipped to Mars. They remained on Mars for approximately 1000 years before the Mars Academy Crew found them. (Campus Safari, strip 248) Although they have been reactivated and cleared of all tappers, all three have lost their memory on how they arrived there. They are currently returning to their ship, but until they find out what happened, they cannot return home for fear of introducing an unknown virus.
- They consider accessing a Xaibar's memory while they are inactive to be an invasion of their memories, and is something not to be done since they are not just data units. (Campus Safari, strip 294)