Name: BEEK [1] [2]
Developed by: Thomas Richard Schubaltz. Who else?
Primary Function: “Artificial organoid” (control/enhancement of a Zoid’s capabilities and functions)
Secondary Function: Data analysis and calculations, tactical advise
Tertiary Function: Handheld weapon
Components: Large control unit, earpiece for mobile communication, helmet for communication when in zoid [3]
Used by: Thomas the vast majority of the time, Van twice, O’Connell once [4]
Communicates by: Electronic beeping and printouts on computer screens [5]
Spellcheck: Microsoft word suggests I rename it to Bee, Beech, Beak, Beck, or Beef.
[1] This is the official spelling, taken directly from my TV screen. Beek, Van, Zeke, and Raven are the only names with official spellings in the series. It's a little strange that Beek's name is written in English on Thomas' Dibison's control panel since most writing is in the made-up standard language of Zi, but we'll just let that anachronism slip by unquestioned, won't we?
[2] This is just a suspicion, but I’m pretty sure that BEEK is an acronym since it’s always written in all capital letters. This looks awkward, though, so I usually just write it as “Beek,” even though that's wrong. In one unfinished story, I guessed that BEEK stands for “Bio-Electrical Enhancing Kernel,” but that’s probably also wrong.
[3] There is more than one earpiece and control unit since both Van and Thomas use them at the same time in “The Devil’s Maze.” I suspect that Van had a simplified version, though.
[4] Note that only Thomas actually uses it in a zoid, and only in the Dibison
[5] Somehow, everyone can understand what Beek means when he beeps. Even Van. This is one of those “suspension of disbelief” things.


Does R2D2 know you’re stealing his schtick?

One of the things I find most interesting about Beek is how Thomas treats it as if it were the zoid. He gives his orders to the AI, argues with it, thanks it for its work sometimes, and generally treats it like a partner (or, barring that, at least an assistant). He never actually speaks to the Dibison directly. Compare this to Irvine, who has a very strong bond with his zoid, or Van, who talks to the Liger as well as Zeke. One of the themes in Zoids is whether the zoids are living creatures or merely machines. People like Van and Irvine come down strongly on the “living creatures” side. People like Stinger and the scientists in Cerberus only think of zoids as weapons. Though it’s not explored, I’m pretty sure that Thomas thinks of zoids as machines first, living creatures second. It’s interesting, then, that he seems to consider Beek, an intelligence that’s completely artificial, more alive than a zoid, a mechanical creature that actually is alive.

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