Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part twenty-seven: A warning light illuminated on her console

One might imagine that when inside the crisis suit one felt constricted or "encased" but it was not like this at all. Within her suit she felt more free, less constricted, it was almost like floating. She was suspended as though above the ground in a network of actuators and fiber bundles that, connected to her arms and legs, supported her and sensed her intentions and movements. They suspended her as though she were in mid air. As she moved the fiber bundles reacted and moved the monstrous suit to match the movements of her arms and legs. The suit's programming was intuitive so it could divine which of her movements were instructions for the suit to mimic and which were her own casual movements. This way she could move her hands to tap the several consoles about her or manually engage with the touch screens without her suit itself performing a bizarre dance. A curved holo screen wrapped around her head like a halo of images. It showed the outside world all about her. It was as though the wrapped screen cut a view straight through the hard casing of the suit. If she turned her head to the back she saw what was behind her, to the right she saw her right shoulder and gun. Her view screen was also populated by information intuitively provided by the suit. Warnings would appear as flashing icons or info boxes on the wrapped screen. Video feeds would appear bringing information and data from her Pathfinders or Drones in the field. Also, if she wanted, with the glance of her eye or a swipe of her hand, she could rotate the view about her head without moving her head at all so that she and her suit would be facing forward while her view looked backward. She could command a sector wide engagement from this suit; assigning units to various conflicts or battles, recalling or deploying at will. Holo maps of the campaign swirled about her tied to videos and stats. It produced a symphony of information. It were as though she were literally juggling the war about her head.

For the most part it was dark within the suit and because of the wrapped view screen and her liberal and unrestricted range of movements the suit conveyed to the wearer the effect of an enormous range of motion. She could take massive strides across the battlefield, fly, leap over buildings and perform feats entirely beyond the range of most her foes. All this within the serene and warm environment of the suit. Her large weapon systems could be leveled at a target with no effort at all on her part. The Air-bursting Frag gun was almost fifteen feet long and could fire a continuous stream of explosives, and she fired it with as much effort as one might use a garden hose. Her twin plasma guns, when synced through her various hardwired systems, could split apart the hull of the toughest tank while the air-bursting gun tore into a platoon of enemy soldiers. Her various shield and watcher drones notified her of incoming threats and protected her from impacts. Recently she had marveled at a shield drone as it had absorbed several incoming missiles. Two of the three shots struck the energy shield conveyed by the drone, the second hit had overloaded the shield leaving her exposed to the final missile. A warning light illuminated on her console warning her of both the failure of the shield and of the expected hit. But the drone, in a final effort to fulfill it program's intent quickly moved into the path of the missile. Both missile and slave were destroyed with no harm to her in her dark cocoon.

The suit wasn't clunky or machine-like in its movements. It was fluid but purposeful. Gripping toes at the end of long armored legs, a broad breastplate and armored shoulders formed the bulk of the suit. Two large vented engines dominated the back of the suit. A small "head" protected several green eye peices that were really targeting devices. When the targeting lights from the "head" focused on a target it conveyed less what Anemos was looking at but rather what she was looking to destroy. Anemos knew that her Crisis Suit was the most sophisticated peice of weaponry in the 41st Millennium. Smarter than the prehistoric armor of the Space Marines, more versatile than the corrupted bulk of the cursed Terminators, and more utilitarian than the walking tombs of the Eldar.

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