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design by Ulf Schreiber
Nebula Award Entry
Maybe this is not too much in topic for this nebula contest, i completely failed in creating anything that could be standard imperial marine battledress.
Instead, I went with the recent discussion of the style of imperial marines operations. I picked the "small numbers hold down the mob" setting combined with high mobility for boarding operations. Well - high MOBility (4G), not high AGility (-4 AG). The suit masses 480 kg...
Technically, this design exploits the nasty-mini-meson-gun whole, build around one of those nice little 200 kg reactors you can contruct at TL 15, spiced up with a big-show user interface. I don't think reactor-battledress and minimesons are good style, but the results are amazing. Salvage one of these and build up a TED.
TL 15 projector suit The name is derived from its main weapon, the so-called meson projector: An array of unreasonable high number of submicro meson guns is set up to fire one after another so that you get very high overall firing frequency (200Hz). The meson pipes are fixed on a flexible carriage so that their relative directions can be adjusted. The result is that all mesons explosions can be concentrated in one point as well as defocused to form a screen or a line or whatever anywhere the operator wants one. The exact form is controlled per gestures. Note: a battledress is quite good motion capturing equipment. If the user does not only want to fire at this or that target (then a virtual gunner workstation is shown in the visors holodisplay) he first forms a virtual preview of the meson-wall with his hands and then sets the distance by targeting a reference point or by waving the virtual wall in his display closer or farther away. When he likes what he sees he just has to make the trigger command (configurable: clap, nod, make a most offensive gesture..). In addition to that the system controlling the meson projector can be linked by radio to other projector suits so that the projectors are switched together as one battery that can build a larger or faster wall to control larger areas, systematically drive persons out of a building with a meson wall moving slowly from back to front an the like.
Trained persons can do the targeting - gesticulation quite fast, therefore the nickname dancers, despite the fact that the hughe reactor/projector backpack makes them move very much like a drunken cow. The grav compensator that is always partially activated to reduce the enormous wheight of the reactor (carrying is not the problem - the exosceleton does. But who wants to walk 20 degrees layed to the front?) makes it even worse due to traction problems. In low G environments the HePlaR manouver drives of the suit are used to press the marine to the "floor", if he likes he can set artificial G in the suit to match the amount the suit is pressed down. Skilled marines even use the thrusters to run around courners. Don't try this at home - not at anyones home, except the enemy's.
History: When Durch Ich., a sector wide supplier of high tech meson communicators from [insert favourite system here] decided to broaden their product spectrum in 1110, they adopted experimental new meson technology for weapon use. The first product was a the Projector suit, a ultraheavy battlesuit which was, as rumours say first a given up prototype design from LSP for a not less experimental pioneer suit that Durch bought cheaply.
From 1112 to 1114 Durch produced about 500 exemplars of the suit until it became clear that the Projector was way too heavy while beeing one of the worst armored battledress on the market, had only very short range weapons and was of course wildly overpriced.
While now no one at Durch wondered why LSP had sold the design so cheaply they still weren't able to do better, so Durch decided to retreat from the battledress business. But then only a few years later, when the market exploded in the Final War and, after a strike on the local LSP production center, Durch suddenly was the only battlesuit manufacturer in half of the subsector about 4300 more were built, most with slight modifications sacrificing some sensors, the expensive avionics and fuel capacity or even the laser and its heavy HPG to pack on more armor or make it lighter.
Today some examples have their fans as they don't need any ammunition (how I was tempted to include fuel purification!), only loads of the most qualified service one sadly cannot get after the Collapse.