An Escort Drone is a type of Tau Drone (small, disc-shaped, semi-sentient machine) employed extensively to assist T'au Water Caste diplomats in their duties. Escort Drones consist of an advanced processor unit, which individually has only a basic intelligence (approximately equal to that of a small animal such as a pterasquirrel), and moves about by way of a compact anti-gravitic generator and much modified variant of a T'au Jetpack. This allows the Drone to hover over the ground and skim over most obstacles.
Escort Drones are often found accompanying Water Caste negotiators during their diplomatic talks with other officials, whether they be T'au, Human or other xenos. Escort Drones aid their masters in many different utilitarian tasks, including serving in the role of messengers by recording and delivering complex messages and acting as guides by leading prospective clients to the Water Caste official. However, their most important role is recording every exchange that takes place during diplomatic talks. This information can then later be dissected by T'au Water Caste officials to better tailor specific questions in later talks.
Escort Drones are primarily equipped with a simple projector array, which can display information on a flat screen for their master during meetings. However, Escort Drones are also armed with twin Pulse Pistols for basic self-defence and for use in the unlikely but possible event that their master's life is threatened. These weapons take up the majority of space inside the Drone. Escort Drones will always stay within close proximity to their diplomatic master, and can act as a form of robotic bodyguard if necessary by getting in the way of incoming enemy fire or close-combat opponents.
All Escort Drones that are attached to a T'au diplomat are controlled by a device known as a Drone Controller which is usually in the form of a hard-wired piece of wargear for T'au infantry. A Drone Controller is an electronic device which acts as a hub of digital communications between the Drone's operator and up to two Drones that accompany the user. It allows a user to communicate his will to any Drone directly under his control. Most of the time, the controller operates at a default level that simply keeps the Drone obeying its basic programming, but the owner can also use it to issue simple orders beyond the Drone's normal parameters.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
The technical specifications for this T'au unit have not been obtained or released by the Ordo Xenos.
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 25, 31, 35
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 282
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 12
- Tau Water Caste Envoy Profile (Inquisitor Specialist Game) (Defunct Link)