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Hive Drone

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In Real Life, insect drones are males whose only programming is to mate with a queen then die. In fiction, however, "drone" is often used to mean a biological equivalent of a remote-controlled robot, such as anything in a Hive Mind not in a position of power, and often under the direct or semi-direct control of the Hive Queen or the Hive Mind's consciousness itself. Sometimes they will resemble hive worker insects and will be sterile, do nothing but work, and care for the Queen's young. Other times they are the army of the Hive. They are nearly always mooks.

Don't expect them to have individuality, have names other than numbers or letters, or even look different from each other. Sometimes, though, one does break off from the hive for one reason or another, becoming a Rogue Drone.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Metroid (Manga): The Space Pirates are revealed to be near-mindless without the presence of a strong commander, with potential candidates including Ridley, Mother Brain, Gray Voice, and Samus herself.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In The Life and Times of a Winning Pony, this is the nature of most of the Changeling race, with the vast majority of the swarm being puppets under Chrysalis' control. The only exception to this are the Free Minds, changelings created by Chrysalis with more free will for the purpose of being better spies and infiltrators, as her regular Hive Drones have very little in the way of the imagination and ability for independent action needed to efficiently infiltrate societies.
  • In Pok√©mon Mystery Dungeon: Overthrown, there are the Porygon sentinels seen in various chapters.

    Film (Live-Action) 
  • Alien: The titular aliens.
  • Subverted in Starship Troopers: The United Citizen Federation, believing that the entire race were mindless insects, send thousands of troops to invade their home world. The invasion cost the Mobile infantry 100,000 lives in the first hour because a super-intelligent Brain Bug had coordinated a defensive strategy.

  • The Formics from Ender's Game, to the point that they will stop moving and die when their queen is killed.
  • In Codex Alera, the bulk of the Vord race consists of animalistic drones that become much more dangerous and coordinated when under a Queen's psychic control.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Borg of the Star Trek universe. A drone's individuality is merely suppressed, rather than being destroyed or absent. This is most explicitly demonstrated in the Voyager episode, "Unimatrix Zero". Drones such as Hugh and Seven of Nine, who are separated from the Collective, are capable of regaining individuality with varying degrees of success.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the bulk of the Tyranid forces consists of drones under the Hive Mind's control and with animal-level intelligence at best. Averted by the more specialized forms, which receive a greater degree of independence in order to control sections of the swarm or operate behind enemy lines.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, the Seers of the Throne have access to a group of servants referred to as "Hive-Souled" who are essentially a single mind/soul born in multiple bodies (generally twins or triplets, although modern science has allowed them to greatly increase the potential numbers). Each individual body of a Hive-Soul is essentially just a single component of their collective mind, having no individual personality, and shares experiences and memories instantly with other bodies. It's difficult for any of them to act in a non-synchronized manner unless they are skilled at multi-tasking. For the purpose of magic, they also count as a single target; any spell cast on one of them affects all of them equally. This extends to any kind of physical alteration (including, unfortunately for them, injuries).
  • The Blood Brothers bloodline in Vampire: The Masquerade, created by vampire sorcerers to serve as shock troops, consists of groups of vampires that can share their senses and abilities and communicate telepathically. The process by which they're created also destroys their creativity, individuality and personality.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, there are the Slivers, a type of Hive Minded creatures where the vast majority of individuals were drones under the control of the Sliver Queen until she was killed, at which point they became drones of the Sliver Overlord, until that was killed, at which point control of the swarm shifted to the newly-conscious hive mind itself, except for one deviant hive controlled by the Hivelord.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Hellwasps are fiendish insects native to Hell, which are normally mindless but form an intelligent shared mind when they gather in a large swarm. The individual hellwasps remain utterly mindless, and are the equivalent of limbs, sensory organs or vocal cords for the swarm's consciousness.

    Video Games 
  • In StarCraft, most members of the Zerg, with the exception of Kerrigan, the Overmind, and the cerebrates, fit this description. There is even an actual unit type called a drone whose only purposes are to harvest resources and morph into structures that let you make other types of Zerg.
  • Half-Life has several notable examples:
    • The Ant Lions from Half-Life 2. The player exploits this later in the game by collecting Pheropods from a fallen Ant Lion Guard.
    • The Combine operates on this concept for each dimension it conquers, by adapting the local dominant species (in Earth's case, humans) into obedient drones while draining their resources.
    • Stalkers - emaciated former humans who work in the bowels of the Citadel. They are emaciated and mutilated, with crude prosthetics replacing their former limbs. And they only communicate by screaming.
    • Combine Synths, such as Striders, Gunships, and Hunters, may fall into this category, being support units for the Combine Overwatch.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the Crimborg drones fit this trope in the same way as their Borg inspirations, with the original personalities of the assimilated drones remaining, but being very much under the Collective's control.
  • In Mass Effect, the Rachni in the backstory and in the present day for that matter shared a psychic Hive Mind controlled by their queens, with drones not having much in the way of thoughts or personalities.
  • The primary pop type of Hive Minds in Stellaris, though the Hive also has "leaders" who display relatively more independence and critical thinking. Even common hive drones have some degree of independence, and can splinter off or suffer from "deviance" in place of normal empires' "crime". They can't live long without the hive mind's presence, however, unless genetically engineered to have their hive mind connection severed.

    Web Original 
  • A number of hive-minded SCPs seem to operate through Hive Drones.
    • SCP-408, the Illusory Butterflies, consists of a kaleidoscope of zebra butterflies with very advanced illusory abilities, acting in perfect unison to create extremely convincing illusions or simply vanish. The Hive Mind itself is fully sapient, but the individual butterflies under its control do not appear to be significantly more intelligent than regular ones.
    • SCP-1888, the Terraforming Temple, which causes plants and animals exposed to black liquid it creates to mutate (higher reasoning tends to be lost) and develop a group intelligence that they use to efficiently eliminate non-mutated organisms.