Setting Sail

Waves of Azhov is finished (yay!) to first draft and is going out for reading to the nearest and dearest.

It has been a bit of an odd one – fairly dark and maybe a bit off-theme but so was Empire Strikes Back – so I’m hoping it will be ok. 🙂

I expect to have a second draft/debug iteration within the next ten days, with a launch (pardon the pun) onto Amazon Kindle, barring a total re-write from my focus group’s essential advice.

I can now look at a few other things, but the Azhov Omnibus is still in the pipeline.

Stay tuned Dear Readers.

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Future Perfect

Another quickie. 😉

Waves of Azhov is at 22k, which means we’re nearly across the finish line and this Novella can go up on Amazon, but this got me thinking.

What are the best next steps?

I’m just getting used to the pricing on Amazon and that’s the reason I try to do giveaways as it generates interest and saves everyone money. SO I thought about putting together something that would be value for money to a paying customer: An Omnibus.

I’m going to compile all the Azhov work, with the fourth and final Novella into a collection. The only way to get the fourth book will be as a limited run, announced here so my Dear Readers and Good Followers can get it free, before it goes exclusively into the Collection, Stories from Azhov. On top of this, I may also bang in shorter pieces about some of the main characters, origin stories for Derrick (present in every book), Annie the Driver (from Warlord) and maybe one or two others, complete with author notes, which will only be available in the Mighty Tome.

Once this is done, that will be it for the Azhov series. The road is coming to an end.

Now, back to the grind….those Novellas don’t write themselves!

Sinking Feeling

Just a quick one from me today, whilst I try and work out what the hell I’m doing and present to the world like I knew the whole time…

Tides of Azhov (still undecided on title – suggestions welcome!) is sitting pretty at 17,000-ish words, so progress.

Unfortunately, it feels like a Hong Kong crime thriller and less like the character of an Azhov book, because our Protagonist is caught between some very naughty people. You might say he’s ‘trapped between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ 🙂

I can’t wait to see how it ends – no seriously, I want to know how it ends because it’s running away from me Dear Reader!

Well, that’s it from me, back to Azhov, ‘Where The Sea is Made of Tears’.

Cracking On

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

William Faulkner

This quote is great for several reasons. The first is that it’s true, the second is I’m writing a book about a Naval Clearance Diver and thirdly he’s called Scott Faulkner. You couldn’t make it up.

Ah. Irony.

Never mind, on with the show. So, Dear Reader or Good Follower, you will all know that I’m hammering on Azhov novellas at the moment and I’m happy to say, we’ve made progress and it’s a doozy. Waves/Tides of Azhov (I’m not decided yet, if anyone wants to chip in with their preference, I’ll listen!) is proving to fit the Star Wars rule of the middle one being dark, which a lot of people seem to think makes Empire Strikes Back the best, (especially the Lightsaber fight, but I disagree and digress simultaneously).

It shocked me how dark it is. It has taken on a bit of a life of its own and mirrors well its subject matter about a man who likes a tipple is drowning in the drink. (Metaphors, see, the audience loves them).

It’s currently sitting pretty at nearly 11,000 words (which at foot per word: 1833 Fathoms, which is – 0.603 leagues under the sea) and I have an inkling where it’s going next, which is great, because the story is talking to me again and I’m back riding the wave instead of wiping out.

I’ve had some feedback from my trusted readers (Polly and RJ) about Children of the Glyph – my Horror Sci-Fi, Jetpack wearing, Welsh psychos and I’ve decided this needs to go to my editor, Hannah for further study after I hit it with a Second Draft cleanup.

Covenant my Vampire novel might have to sidestep as I’m currently re-drawing it and it’s in first person. I hate it. It feels more like I’m telling, not Showing and that is a Cardinal Writing Sin – so shelved for a bit.

The Fourth Azhov book is underway as well. I’ve written about a thousand words for it and the ending is coming together nicely – I have to say, it’s the first book (novella) I’ve written backwards and it’s a plenty odd feeling. I do have to be careful here, because I did write the ending for a full sized novel well before it was due and it literally closed the book for me.

I tried to start it back up again, but some projects do just die. I still have it somewhere and Betrayed Ire forms the fourth book of a Thriller series much in the vein of Jack Higgins, with the titles in question being Nemesis, Acts of Reprisal and Accursed Warrior. Maybe I’ll revisit them for second draft one day too.

Anyway friends, that’s that. See you soon.

Veni, Vidi, Verisimilitude (Part Three)

“I know not what weapons World War III might be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Albert Einstein

Or Railguns.

I was tempted to use Douglas MacArthur here in deference to the fact my blog is about Pens Being Mightier, but Doug makes a good point about people who say such things never experienced automatic weapons. He is in turn challenged by the complete nincompoop Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig who stated “I do not believe in the stopping power of the machine gun against the horse.” (But I digress).

Railguns.

My guys (and girls) in Rebellion of Mars had Railguns as personal weapons back in 1998. We’re still mounting them on battleships. I had to do a lot of research into it, followed by a lot of mind-changing because what I thought worked didn’t. I finished up with enough to make it stick – which is especially pertinent here, since really the only thing that stops a railgun slug is friction and escape velocity and recoil are massive factors in space, never mind the atmosphere and gravity of Mars.

If you’ve ever seen the film Eraser with Austrian Arnie, you may know a thing or two about the sheer fantasy that man-portable railguns evoke. Everyone who knows a little about their onions and ballastics laughs their arse off at it.

Well what if we dial it back a bit. Stop with the plasma slugs and all that crud. We need to accept that machine-guns and rifles are NOT getting any more futuristic. Why is that? The answer is very simple. Modern day firearms are the best it gets. They’re like the great white shark, they’ve evolved to the point where it has to do nothing more than swim and tear the arse off stuff.

Conventional firearms work in vacuum. There’s enough air in the round to detonate the powder and spit the bullet. The problem is recoil and the fact that your opponent in Rebellion of Mars/Librarian Chronicles is wearing a portable tank. Sorry mate, but your popgun 9mm/.45ACP isn’t going to do anything – it’s not even going to scratch the glass.

So we get around that by velocity. We get around it by building the Imperial Arms Industries Mk 2 Railgun.

EXCERPT: 12/77/08 – GABEN, J, “The Equipment and Arms of the Universal Standing Forces 2901 – 3001”

The Linear Magnetic Accelerator was the first prototype of the man-portable electro-magnetic induction weaponry envisioned as early as 1980, when the Technical College in Massachusetts fired a paper aeroplane over 500 feet.  The available power for the device was tiny and when scaled up, had to be mounted on a nuclear powered battleship by the then BAE Systems in 2011, when the range was expanded to something far more useful – approximately 100 miles, with a muzzle velocity of over 2,520 metres per second.  These were the first so-called Rail Guns, named for the construction and method of impulsion.

When BAE was absorbed by International Arms Industries their research and technology went with them.  In 2688 the first “Rail Rifles” the EM1 and the EM2 entered military trials.  Whilst considered “technologically advanced and forward looking” (Hubert, P: Sports Shooting, Sept 2689. p20) , the design was not adopted, with several Terran-bound consortia putting effort into the “recoilless” designs of weapons to be used by space-bound troops and vested interests keeping the older, more well-known JSA (Jensen Small Arms) powder propellant rifles in circulation.

IAI were not so easily dissuaded.  Going back to the drawing board, their EM1 designs were scrapped, but valuable lessons were learned.  It was not until battery and power cell transfer designs were upgraded that the idea became viable of transferring the amount of power to the magnetic inductors proportionate to the length of the same “rails”.  Before, the ammunition was caseless, launched from a helical magazine fixed into the weapon, each shot a single solid block of blunt metal catapulted forwards at great speeds – perfect for flight regardless of atmosphere or Null-G.  The recoil of such forces remained however, requiring a recoil profile more tolerable for the user.  A magazine fed weapon was designed, in “bullpup” configuration, it loaded and handled just like the conventional small arms before it, but the ammunition was as different as the weapon.

Choosing the 7.11mm calibre round, over the main competitor of 6.85mm, the lithium ion cell cartridge behind the varying type of projectile loads into the breach as a complete unit.  When the trigger is depressed and the sear releases the firing pin, it strikes the rear of the cartridge and forces a piezo-electric discharge into the main capacitor coil, which powers the weapon and hurls the aerodynamically shaped round from the barrel at hyper-velocities.  The empty battery case is then extracted by the bolt reciprocating to charge the next round.  The barrel, induction rail and cartridge sizes are carefully scaled and matched to provide effective ranges of 600-800 metres and controllable recoil in fully automatic fire.

This quickly led to more rapid fire and powerful weapons, using the same technology.  The main advantage of the ammunition being the round, propellant and power supply meant the weapons themselves could be carried and stored inert, without any further special consideration other than careful and routine maintenance and if collected, the batteries could be recharged.  The crack and snap of the electrical discharge and displacement of air from the launched projectile were similar to the weapons that had gone before them – the technology advancing, the physics constant.

Whilst powder based propellant ammunition endured into the 29th Century, there was a new act in town and it would flourish and increase upon its adoption by the Universal Armed Forces as the “Gun, Magnetic Rail (Small Arms) Mk II”, official designation L1A1 Railgun Assault Rifle.

The circle had finally been closed.

End.

This isn’t to say the Railgun has it’s cake and eats it. The armour the guys and gals wear is sloped for deflection. Especially a handful of special suits…more on that another time.

Anyway, how much of stuck Dear Reader or Good Follower? I hope the technobabble sounds viable…anyway, that’s the last Veni, Vidi for now. Hope they were mildly entertaining.

Can’t Give It Away

Just a quick note to anyone who missed it the first time around – as of Midnight on Sunday 29/09/2019, Warlord of Azhov will be free to purchase in the Kindle Store until Midnight on Thursday 03/10/2019.

As always, if you like it, I would encourage you to give me feedback as it’s how I improve – and if you already have done that, thank you very much!

In other news, Covenant is progressing. I’ve learned quite a lot about so-called ‘Low intensity Conflicts’ and how electronic and signal surveillance (phone taps, laser microphones and datamining) is generally secondary to human intelligence (stakeouts, tailing and listening to the local gossips) in such actions.

Big Brother, Dear Readers, has lots of ways to keep a beady eye or ear – but don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me. 😉

Opening Shots

The Beginning is the most important part of the Work.

Plato, The Republic.

I didn’t like the opener to Covenant, so I binned the post and decided to talk about the space-time continuum for two days. I can imagine this may have been enlightening but also quite boring for those not planning a star-spanning epic, so something lighter today. A better opening scene for the neck-nibbler thriller in the works.

            The Jaguar F Type, in jet black, sheared the darkness with its aggressive lights as it powered down the road.  A hundred metres away, waiting in his own vehicle, Jake snapped the last round into a magazine and spared a moment of contemplation as the nose of the bullet glinted silver.   Thrusting the thought away, he snapped the magazine into the firearm and placed his gloved hands on the wheel, flexing his fingers as the Jaguar barrelled down the street.

Sparse oak trees rattled in the night wind, casting odd shadows across the road and cars as the Jaguar passed Bentleys and other expensive vehicles on a Millionaire’s Row.  He knew where the Jaguar was going and why – and that it was imperative that the driver did not make his assignation.  Who would have thought the Old Man was sentimental?  It was such a shame really.

            The headlights bathed the tarmac as the Jaguar approached, a large, growling cat with a top-tier predator driving it.  Jake knew the team had to be quick, violent and take the driver by surprise.  He licked his lips and rolled down his ski-mask.  He looked at the back of his hand.  Not a tremble at all.  He gripped the wheel.

“Standby, standby.”

            It wasn’t a simple stop and snatch affair.  Not tonight.  The low-emission streetlights let him see with almost perfect clarity, but it was no advantage – the driver would have the same.  The difference lay in numbers, firepower and experience.  Jake closed his eyes, opened his ears; strained them as they told the story.

The Jaguar was close.

Sixty metres away.

The pause in engine pitch, to check for traffic at the crossroads.

Gear change.

Quick dash across, engine purring harder.

Accelerate.

Thirty metres.  Gear change.

The headlights burned into the cabin of the SUV.

Jake opened his eyes.

No way out.

“Now.”

A screech of tyres and a saloon car lurched into the road, some twenty metres behind John.  It threatened the Jaguar with collision and immediately the driver of the Jaguar dodged around it, picked up speed and powered past the clumsy trap, smashing the wing mirrors of every car it ran against, a great protesting wail of plastic and metal, sundered mirror glass spilling.

Jake pulled out simultaneously with the saloon, the heavy SUV under his control grunting, pulled hard across the road and nudged the trap shut, presenting the broad passenger side to the Jaguar.  Jake watched as the big cat had nowhere to go and ploughed into his robust vehicle with a terrific crunch of force.  The SUV tipped, skewed and lifted, dropping back down with a thrash of shocks.  It ended up lodged behind another car, jamming both cars entirely.  A dead stop.  The powerful Jaguar was blunted and crumpled, bleeding fluid all over the road in black oil and water slick, but Jake knew a wounded beast was dangerous.

With not a scratch on him, Jake dropped from the drivers’ side of the mangled SUV and readied the firearm he’d been provided with: a German sub-machinegun favoured by Counter-Terrorist units worldwide.  He could see three identically armed and equipped men closing on him.  A smile – these were his squad from the saloon.

From behind the cover of the SUV bonnet, he aimed for the driver’s space above the steering wheel, the hardened UV resistant glass obscuring everything within.  Gunfire ripped into the aftermath of the collision, puncturing the weird silence after so much noise.  With no return fire, Jake ducked around the smashed car and stopped in the road – they had precious few moments to finish it.

The others circled the car, making sure no-one got out without them seeing.  The Jaguar rocked as the driver thrashed about and four guns fired this time, a staccato burst that finished as abruptly as it started.  John looked up at the windows in the street.  No-one was looking out.  Another smile.  Why would they, if they knew what was good for them?

 A howl sounded from inside and John lurched over, sprinting, covering the distance in a heartbeat.   He leapt onto the bonnet, the tortured suspension of the Jaguar flexing unevenly and he smashed out all the glass with the barrel of his sub-machinegun.  He tripped the light mounted below the barrel and the bright spill cut through smoke and dust.  Inside, in the back seat, half covered by torn upholstery, lay the target. He clutched a ruined arm, shredded by bullet impacts.  The rest of him wasn’t much better. His clothes were dark with crimson.

“You can’t stop the future.”  The wounded driver hissed into the blinding light.

John lined up his sights on the drivers’ forehead and pulled the trigger.  There was a gasp and a flash-crack of displaced air in a small explosion.  What was left of the Jaguar windows blew out and fire began to lick hungrily at the leather interior of the expensive car.  “Target neutralised.”  John said into the tactical radio.  “Let’s get out of here.”

They ran off into the night as blue lights began to wash the walls of the rich houses.

End.

The big question is, Dear Reader or Good Follower…are you bothered about what comes next? You’re going to have to help me out a bit!

Veni, Vidi, Verisimilitude..? (Part Two)

The Science of Today is the Technology of Tomorrow.

Edward Teller

Another way of saying this, is that life imitates art. If you’re an intellectual, occasionally you could get away with something like: “tail wagging the dog”.

There’s a sliding scale for Sci-fi, I’ve seen everything from websites devoted to the voltage and frequency of the Death Star super-laser and how it could actually blow up Alderaan to stuff about why Spaceballs uniforms have a certain kind of strap.

This is where fiction research starts to blend with fantasy contrivance and continually butts up against those who actually know how an atomically powered time machine would work. I’m not a scientist, so once again, this is pseudotechbabble – but Dear Reader, or Good Follower – if you are or know any astrophysicists, my inbox is always open! 🙂

Now imagine space. It’s big. Really, really big. Imagine the biggest thing you can think of and it’s bigger than that. In other news, everything is space is really far away, like a long trip down to the shops when it’s heaving it down and you have no umbrella and only a thin jacket that your date thinks looks nice, but won’t stop a sparrow fart, let alone these big drops. Now imagine that the shop is in London and you’re in Gretna Green and you don’t have bus fare. Yes, that far away.

So you’d want something to get you there faster right? With your hair still looking nice for your date? This is what I call: “the Fairy Godmother Principle”.

So, without delay, I present the Dyson Cradles. The way people get around in the universe of Rebellion of Mars/Librarian Chronicles.

FILE ACCESS:2712.2842

OPERATOR: Librarian 01104

CLASSIFICATION: Public Domain

 EXCERPT 13/05/47 FROM KRASINKI, W: “Galactic Engineering”, Chap 2

The Lunar Dyson Cradle: First Constructed: 2536

Diameter: 0.7 Kilometres, expanding to 1.5 Kilometres (outer ring – Iris 1.4km at maximum)

Crew: 400 approx

Trivia: It takes three cargo haulers to supply the Cradle Ops Station with bread for a single day.

When fully activated, the Dyson Cradle begins to spin the constructed inner and outer rings around the captive micron-event, generating a moderate electro-magnetosphere, known as the Iris – a containment shield of one hundred metres diameter.  The inner ring seeds the inner void of the Cradle, with the exotic material required to agitate the event horizon, Rosenium, a light, pink coloured metallic element found within the Martian crust and believed to be the cause of reduction and loss of Mars’ dynamic molten core over the millennia. For over 100 years, this element was prized both for the ability to finely craft lighter metals when used as an alloy and it’s attractive colour, being referred to as “Rose Silver”.  Only early experiments in Rosen-Einstein conduit agitation proved how much more valuable it was and finalised the name it now known by in honour of the scientist who worked with Einstein.

Rosenium possesses the natural quality of neutron-degenerate particle retention, being stable due to slow decay via the Pauli Principle. When mixed with other metals, such as Titanium, the effect produces an atomic mass reduction and, more importantly acts as a catalyst under the negative pressures invoked by the Cradle.

Rosenium Particulates saturate the area along with electron doping.  The outer ring generates gravitic momentum via a series of repulsing magnetic forces.  These are released as magnetic inversions (Colloquially “mag dumps”) which generate successive and concentric gravimetric waveforms, much like dropping stones into a pond one after the other, very similarly to a planetary molten core gyroscope and provoking the same pressure, of a minimum of 0.3 magnitudes of Earth to stabilise the neutron-degenerate reactions, consecutively pounding the iris with controlled emissions to initiate a Vortex.

Once a stable vortex threshold is reached, the Iris is collapsed, now exposed to proton bombardment from the Cradle’s outer ring projectors, the subspace fabric shears and provokes the captive Einstein-Rosen horizon into a conduit, with a gravity well of only a few centimetres at its zenith.  Depending on distance of travel required and the size of the object transported, the conduit can be extended in all axes or contracted with the Oculus, which is a projection on the far side of the cradle which, using gravity manipulation, can stretch the conduit appropriately as the cradle arms open, expanding on tracked pinions to 1 kilometre in diameter.  Events larger than this “cannot be stabilised properly and terminate almost immediately despite Rosenium doping”, (Schwartz, P: “Astro-dynamics and Practical Event Theory”. Chap 3, p101)

The Oculus also directs the conduit and targets it towards the preferred destination of another Cradle designated a Receiver.  Once connected the object for Transition moves into the apex zone to prepare for acceleration.  The rupture continues indefinitely with an indefinite particulate migration, simply put, the wormhole gets deeper, the more it is fed. Care must be exercised however, without tethering to a receiver; it is quite possible to tunnel a Conduit right into a planetary body, which is why it is always almost a case of Dyson Cradles being used in matched entry and exit points around the Cradle Web, providing a stable route of travel.  Propulsion is generated by the catastrophic and controlled collapse of the conduit at Origin.  With this collapse, the tethered Cradle pulls the wormhole closed, like a zip, with whatever object is in the conduit being the tab.  The resulting catapult or “event surfing” as it known, delivers monumental acceleration.

Ships wishing to travel via Dyson Cradle must be equipped with a Transition Belt, which is a series of devices about the hull that generate a sympathetic field to the conduit fabric, feeding from standard power cores.  By maintaining this field, the ship is protected in a Rosen Sphere, a bubble of compact Newtonian Particulates, similar to a snow-globe, by which a ship may travel the full length of the Einstein-Rosen Conduit in relative safety, with an event collapse dissipation variable of 0.68% (Hunnam, C et al: Physics Review 2581, p23).  Conversely, in an emergency, the Belt can be reversed in polarity, causing a wave disruption within the Conduit, forcing a dissipation event in excess of 80.03% which is usually enough to destroy the conduit and drop the ship back into normal space and relegate it to the FTL propulsion unit equipped, safely.

Ships within the conduit are to all intents and purposes a victim of Schrodinger’s Box, existing and not existing at the same time.  The ability to pass through objects prevents damage and terminal collision – however, any celestial body with planetoid or greater mass generating gravity well stronger than the Conduit, or indeed enough to divert the Conduit without appropriate Tethering, would result in total destruction of the craft and depending on size, an extinction level event to any ecology.

End. Thank God.

Well, if you survived that Sci-barf, you’ve got talent. Please forgive anything terribly wrong – I do know exotic material cannot ever exist as a solid, but we have to cut corners if you want to get to the shop, right?

Veni, Vidi, Verisimilitude…? (Part One)

I do not think that any Realism is beautiful

H.P. Lovecraft

What can I say, the man is right.

What follows dear reader is a quasi-realistic, over-simplified page of about 1,000 words which I built for my book, Rebellion of Mars. I’m still deliberating on what I should call the series, as it began in 1998-ish as The Librarian Chronicles, but that title has been taken for another series entirely devoted to a pseudo-romantic bent and I am usure the author of those works wants any connotation with mine, (but I digress).

This post and its sequels (I love Sequels, didn’t I tell you?) will focus on some absolutely horrible pseudo-science that is very technical. If you’re after heart-stopping romance, this isn’t for you. However, it does give an insight into what you have to come up with in order to keep your world(s) real. It isn’t pretty, but it is necessary – and occasionally some humour can be made of it.

What follows then is the technical document describing the Powered Combat Suit (Model IV) that keeps our heroes and heroines safe in the depths of space and the caustic grit desert of Mars (which is another obsession of mine). This forms part of what I call the “Rules of the Game” and prevent a lot of nonsense happening and where (some) of all that research you’re supposed to do, goes.

ACCESS DATE: 2533.2948

LIBRARIAN: 1104

EXCERPT: 08-55/215 – ROBBINS, M, “Protecting the Protectorate, Chap 3.”

The Universal Armed Forces are deployed across all manner of hazardous environments and into all kinds of situation requiring a flexible table of equipment.  The most important item to any human being at risk of exposure to the cold vacuum of space is protective gear.  In the case of the Armed Forces, this varies from tried and tested space suits for working in and around the space craft and stations to the hardened combat armour that is renowned across the System for the abilities it grants – all of which would “be impossible without the Orbital Forge” (Gettings, T: Galactic Engineering, Chap 14, p241).

The ISS was expanded massively over the course of Protectorate intervention, with supplies and minerals being brought from Mars and the Lunar complex being far cheaper and easier than uplift from Terra.  Constructed as the East Wing, a large construction contains the rotating centrifugal forges, which fabricate the materials used to construct the powered combat suit.

TECHNICAL DOCUMENT 443

POWERED COMBAT SUIT, REVISION 3.6.

PRESENTED TO TERRAN SENATE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

0140 24/03/2935

Defences:

Using micro-gravity, the plasteel – a polymer-dense metallic fabric is woven into honeycomb structure or metal foam depending on contractor specification.  This lends great strength and light weight to the panels and plates that adorn the skeleton of the suit, itself a titanium/steel composite.  The plates are then treated to triple laminating with solid sheets, providing deflective and hardening to the armour.  The upper dermis of the armour is layered with titanium/tungsten carbide ceramics, to dissipate heat and form an ablative armour layer which will break and shed on contact with explosive damage, bleeding off force and reducing overall harm and is what gives the suit its characteristic drab off-white colour when inactive.

Finally an electronic lattice embedded within a carbon fibre sheath is applied to the plates.  This finishes the armour with a satin polish, smart enough for parades and presentation, but also carries the microdot framework allowing the armour to change colour almost at will via the integrated pattern reader in the suit and controlled by the on-board OMNI computer systems.

Vision capacity is provided by a tempered Armaglas visor of 26.03mm thickness, which allows a field of view of 170 degrees directly to front – fitted on a mechanical swivel to allow raising or lowering at will.  A secondary visor, the radiation and UV shield, is made of a thinner, reflective diamantine coated layer to repel hard intensity volumes in several spectra of harmful light and radiation, proof to several atmospheres of air and fluid pressure, thermal and gravity deformation as well as particulate strikes exceeding micro-meteorite.

Salvation System:

Pilot ejection mechanism provided by emergency de-pressurisation, 36 x 11.7 microgram “Quiver” class micro-charges located in plating fissures 1-12, 20-32 and 40-52 on retracting sled mounts providing dismantle of protective plates and emergency escape.

Ardax Protective Systems: Suit, Underlayer, Flexible Armour and Escape Type 2 provided by manufacturer, Nomatex and KevlarR4 weave, fitted with protective ceramic ablative coated titanium hardened plates, Damascus integrated knee and elbow caps, Swift Sorbothane and hardened rubber foot pads, with Mutant traction lugs in the outsole.  Full life support and heating systems included, with electro-graft sockets for integration into Powered Combat Suit skeleton.

Facilities:

The OMNI V2.3 intelligence and electronics package provides the following features:

  • Face-to-face holographic camera and projector
  • Full audio relays and pickup interior/exterior/private
  • Voice activated command suite, with over 500 pre-programmed functions
  • Ground penetration Laser-mapping unit link-up with arm mounted projector
  • Holographic manual interface link-up with arm mounted keypad
  • GPS/SystemNetPS
  • TacNet Hard Echo™ Encryption receiver and transmitter
  • Snooper™ Local radio/telecom/sound wave intercept
  • Local colour sampler and MIMIC-3 pattern matching

Locomotion:

Attached to the skeleton are the fibre-bundles and servo-mechanics that add speed and strength to the pilot, mimicking the movements of the natural pivots of the human being and carrying the weight – and it needs to.  At 0.25-0.35 Tonnes depending on equipment packages, each suit is immobile without power, usually generated by the nuclear plant within, and an operator would be very hard pressed to move it under their own manual power.  Fortunately the suit also contains a Dynamic Battery, whereby an appendage can be manipulated to build up a charge in the support capacitor.  This can be used to “bootstrap” or “kick-start” the suit back into full function. (Neams, D: Manual and Operations, Powered Combat Suit, Models 1 – 4, p305).

Sustainment:

A main function of the backpack besides power supply, are the waste and life-support systems known as the Absorb Pack. Connected to the orthotics, the pack dries the waste using the resulting heat from the reactor.  The water is reclaimed and processed for purity, whilst solid waste is stored in a compacted dry format and removed at maintenance.  The operator may also evacuate the compartment, standard doctrine is to bury the result, colloquially termed “brick waste” (Sparks, K: Fighting the Peace, Chap 12, p.177) gives rise to a certain brand of humour.  The subsequent heat bleed also cools the suit and acts as thermal dissipation for the reactor, which is exceptionally rapid in most of the thermally challenging environments the suit pilot will encounter.  Oxygen/air mix is recycled through standard air and moisture filters and the Absorb pack functions on a separate circuit to function on main power loss, although it too may be supported from the Dynamic Battery in emergencies.

The suit is equipped with atmospheric pressure containment, but also has direct life support interface in the form of a breathing tube and mask which may be fixed over the pilot’s nose and mouth, creating a close fitting seal in case of visor breach.  In atmospheres supportive of human life, the armour is equipped with vents which can be opened at will, compromising the pressurised atmosphere of the suit, but increasing airflow management.

Protection:

The suit also contains a full trauma and life-saving support suite, incorporating hydraulic tourniquets on all limbs, wound-closing biofoam, which also forms a semi-solid plaster caste and pressure seal to maintain suit integrity.  Several injector tubes are built into the armour around the spine and arms, containing increasing doses of stimulants, anti-radiation and analgesics.  The breathing system air mix can also be modified to regulate or adulterate the content to allow for mild sedation or increased flows of oxygen as needed.  Finally, the suit contains a life-signs monitor that can be accessed by medical or command personnel to gain remote control of the trauma suite.

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