Hugo 05

Hugo 05 was meant to be the ultimate X-dog, and very nearly is. Technical across the board, he covers most bases, a one-dog engineering and computer-science lab. Hugo’s also a capable soldier. Using a beefed-up Shiban body plan, O.T. created a compact super-marine, small, agile and strong, requiring less calories than a larger breed of dog would, whilst still holding his own in a fight. Individually this hardly matters, but if you plan to make a thousand soldiers, well, less rations add up to a financial and tactical advantage.

However, cramming such a modest body with all that ability has led Hugo to be one of the most glitch-prone X-dogs, exhibiting some serious disorders over successive reincarnations, physical and mental. O.T. clearly learned little from their experience with Cliff 04’s failure rate, or perhaps they thought they could overcome the issue of mental saturation. Happily this latest iteration of Hugo came with all his parts, save one glaring omission – a voice. He’s a mute. Something, somewhere, went awry and his mind does not allow for speech, nor even normal laughter beyond amused panting. Luckily, all X-dogs are born with an exhaustive knowledge of tactical paw-signals for stealth communication, giving Hugo and the boys a solid foundation on which to learn sign-language. Even Bryce, hardly quickest on the uptake, is fluent in the art. Unlike the social butterfly that is Bryce, Hugo is an introvert at the best of times. He’s happiest lodged behind a holoscreen, programming and playing games, choosing to express himself outwardly with various piercings and wild chroma-combing. This introversion is partly down to his inability to communicate, but also because most ‘normies’ do not approach his vast X-dog intellect and cannot hold his interest, though he makes allowances if they’re ‘cute’.

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