Project Hypotenuse

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Malchus
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Project Hypotenuse

Post by Malchus » Mon May 26, 2008 5:45 pm

NOTE: Last group/organization transfer for tonight. I'm gonna revise the M'kuydis article, the last of my organization articles which I need to transfer, before I put it up again.


Project Hypotenuse

Valen Technologies had long known as one of Skyhaven’s premier tech corporations. While it had not penetrated the global market to the same extent as the Quartermass Experiment, Hero Labs, or the monolithic Saintly Concerns, it was still considerably successful. The company mainly specialized in consumer technology such as personal computers, PDAs, cellphones; or with high-tech industrial equipment such as construction robots. However, as with many of its business contemporaries, ValTech also dabbled in the field of high-tech militaries.

Among its more prominent achievements in the field of military technologies are numerous man-portable weapons systems such as directed-energy guns, plasma weapons, electrothermal firearms, and advanced high explosives. ValTech was also known for the development of autonomous vehicles such as reconnaissance/attack UCAVs and drone vehicles. Most of these weapons design jobs were usually done at the behest of the Skyhaven military, one of the company’s biggest customers in terms of military technology.

Its latest program for the Skyhaven military is Project Hypotenuse. The project is tasked with developing advanced powered combat suits for the Battle Operations Tactical Team Light Expeditionary Covert Adventure Pact (BOTTLECAP), Skyhaven’s illustrious corps of elite special operations adventurer-soldiers. Project Hypotenuse was to develop specialist power armor for use in the numerous special missions BOTTLECAP operatives are assigned to, missions that at times require more than human capabilities to overcome.

Considering the considerable interest and funding BOTTLECAP is pouring into ValTech for the project, it has captured the personal attention of the company’s owner and CEO, Leonardo Valen. In fact, he has left the charge of most of ValTech’s business to selected subordinates so that he could devote more attention to the project. Mr. Valen has also assigned his talented young robotics protégé, Allan Gibraltar, as the head of design for the project.

With such backing and funding, Project Hypotenuse quickly developed several rather formidable suits. These suits, in accordance with the mathematics “theme” of the project name, are collectively called MATHs (Mechanically Augmented Tactical Hardsuits). So far, there have been five different MATHs designs that ValTech has developed:


VERTEX (VERsatile Tactical EXsoskeleton)

The first MATH developed by ValTech, the VERTEX is a rather formidable ground combat power suit. It fully encases its wearer in a protective suit of advanced metal-ceramic composite with non-Newtonian properties. The VERTEX’s armor is so strong, in fact, that it can take a 105mm HEAT round to the chest and still keep its wearer alive. Although, it’s wearer would be very badly bruised. The armor also has ablative properties that allow an impressive level of resistance to directed-energy weapons.

In addition to impressive armor, the VERTEX is also fitted with enough advanced mechanical augmentation which enables it to move smoothly and display impressive strength. The suit is controlled directly from the nerve impulses of the wearer, which the suit can read through the skin. The nerve impulses are then converted into instructions which allow the suit to move as if it were the wearer’s own body, although, the bulk of the heavily armored suit does have restrictions in terms of the degree of motion. The actuators and servomotors moving the suit are also exceedingly powerful, allowing the o the wearer t easily pick up an automobile and hurl it if he so wishes.

Of course, there is more the VERTEX other than just impressive strength and durability. The VERTEX can also be fitted with several weapons packs which can make it a veritable miniature armored vehicle. The early variants of the VERTEX were fitted with simple forearm-mounted machinegun mounts, chambered for either .30 or .50 caliber ammo. However, these soon proved cumbersome and underpowered, and there was the added liability of the ammo chains leading to backpack-mounted ammunition canisters being entangled on something, rendering the guns useless.

Later variants, however, can be fitted with more compact yet vastly more powerful, arm-mounted directed-energy weapons pods. These beams can be adjusted to deliver anything from merely a harmless stun shot to a tank-busting blast. Having the backpack space cleared of ammo canisters, the VERTEX may also be fitted with DP (dual-purpose) missiles, spring-up gun “arms”, or other such specialist packs. It may also be fitted with the APEX (Aerial Patrol EXtension) pack, which can allow the versatile combat power suit to fly. This flying variant is either referred to as the VERTEX/APEX or simply by the same acronym as the flight pack, APEX, for Aerial Patrol EXoskeleton.

All these weapons and capabilities, however, would be absolutely useless if there weren’t away to effectively control and coordinate them. Fortunately, the VERTEX comes well-equipped in this area as well. Its armored helmet has an impressive sensor and visual-augmentation suite which allows the wearer to see in pretty much any condition. This sensor suite is also directly linked to the MATH’s weapons attachments, allowing the wearer to effectively aim said weapons without looking down a sighting mechanism—useful since the weapons are usually mounted on the arms. Lastly, the helmets are also fitted with a highly-secure communications system, allowing the MATH wearers to communicate and coordinate with each other. This system can also transmit info to the command center, allowing commanders back at their command posts to effectively monitor and coordinate a suit-wearing team.

Finally, the entire suit (as with all later MATH designs) is powered by highly efficient batteries which can be charged with any available fusion source. The batteries allow the suit to operate for anywhere between 10 to 15 hours. While this may limit the suits combat operations utility, it is not much of an issue for its intended role as a quick strike or armored mission support role. The design’s success in that role has, in fact, seen BOTTLECAP begin to integrate the suit into service. However, recently, with the theft and illegal use of a more advanced ValTech MATH design, the VERTEX has shown some limitations. Its heavier armor restricts its ground agility and aerial speed (although, it is superior in aerial maneuverability, despite the weight, because of the design and configuration of the APEX) allowing the super outlaw Roach’s stolen suit to run circles around them. However, the VERTEX’s heavier armor

Still, the design’s cost may limit its numbers. Especially since Skyhaven’s military does not have the USA’s “runaway defense budget” and has considered cutting funding to Project Hypotenuse after Roach’s MATH theft. Although, if talk about Skyhaven’s consideration about joining the North American Special Defense Initiative are true, then the VERTEX may see wider distribution since SDI members have been known to collectively pool their resources for advanced technology development.


SINE (Submersible Independent Nautical Encasement)

After the impressive military capabilities of the VERTEX line of MATHs, one would expect that ValTech’s next MATH design would be another military power house. However, with the design of the Submersible Independent Nautical Encasement, Allan Gibraltar was thinking more along BOTTLECAP’s mandate of intrepid exploration and discovery than the organization’s black operations functions.

The SINE was primarily designed as a deep sea exploration and recovery suit, although, technically, it is actually more of a hybrid between a suit and a submersible than a pure suit itself. The design possesses four hydrojet motors, two vertical, two horizontal, which allow it high speed and agility within the water. In its intended role, the SINE has already met with some success. However, its bulk makes it incapable of land operations. It is a much larger suit, with consequently bulkier metal-ceramic, non-Newtonian composite which works just as well in resisting massive water pressure as it does with resisting kinetic and directed-energy damage. This has allowed it to not only map ocean floors, but also serve as a deep sea rescue and recovery vessel.

Of course, it is not limited to such roles and is capable of serving in a military capacity. Its arm-mounted laser emitters have been modified to emit a field that repels water, allowing the laser to work underwater without dumping its energy into boiling the surrounding fluid. While this laser can be used to cut large holes into the hulls of enemy vessels, it can also be used to intercept aquatic projectiles and mines. On a different setting, the beam can also act as a welder, allowing on the spot quick repairs for friendly sea craft. It is little wonder, then, that, aside from BOTTLECAP, the Skyhaven Exploratory Fleet has also been interested in the design.

In fact, SINEs are already in active service in both BOTTLECAP and SEF. Since the suit is not as heavily-laden with weapons systems, it is also much cheaper to produce. As a result, more SINEs are currently in service than VERTEXs. Although, its aquatic and lightly-armed nature means that it has more than its share of limitations as a military power suit design. However, being more specialized for water operations than the multi-role MATH the Roach was modified from, the SINE has seen a lot of action against said villainous power suit. Mostly, its anti-Roach operations have centered on attempting to track Roach’s submarine base or in ensnaring the Roach in undersea combat, where the latter is less capable in terms of maneuverability and speed.


COSINE (Combat-Optimized Submersible Independent Nautical Encasement)

With the success of the SINE design, Allan Gibraltar decided to expand the MATH along more military lines. Thus, the Combat-Optimized Submersible Independent Nautical Encasement was born. Like the SINE, the COSINE was designed to be a fusion of a military power suit and a deep-sea submersible. Unlike the SINE, however, it is more of the former than the latter.

Firstly, it is far less bulky than the SINE, allowing it to be capable of operating on land. However, the COSINE is still too heavy and massive for it to walk effectively on legs. As such, it is fitted with tread wheels instead. The thinner, lighter armor also means that the COSINE is less resistant to pressure and depth, so it can’t dive as deep. It does retain the full maneuverability and speed of the SINE, however, since it is fitted with the same four hydrojet drives of the older design.

The reduced mass from the armor reduction allows it far more space for weaponry, however. It is this regard that the COSINE’s military advantage on the SINE is clearly shown. Unlike the SINE’s arm-mounted aqualasers, the COSINE’s own aqualasers are capable of generating more power. About as much power as a VERTEX’s beam weapons, in fact. This powerful beam weapon allows the COSINE to better attack enemy vessels or intercept enemy torpedoes and mines. Despite its power, however, it can still be dialed down to serve as a welder, just like the SINE’s own aqualasers.

In addition to the aqualasers, the COSINE can also be fitted with specialist packs on its sides. These packs can come in different forms and specializations. There is the mini-torpedo/sea-launched missile launcher which allows the COSINE to serve as a mini attack sub. Another is the sonar package, which allows the COSINE to serve as a mobile sonar station. There is also the decoy pack, which allows the COSINE to sound like a larger sub and serve as a decoy. Finally, there are the heavy plasma packs which fire plasma blasts that, like the aqualaser, emit a water-repelling field thatallow them to push through water.

Like the SINE, the COSINE has also found customers in the Skyhaven Exploratory Fleet as well as BOTTLECAP. Like the VERTEX, it has also begun to be used by BOTTLECAP troopers. However, it is considerably more expensive to build than the SINE. Predictably, this has limited the number coming out for service. However, it is better at battling Roach that the SINE mostly because of all the weapons it is capable of being fitted with. While not capable of being as heavily armed as the VERTEX, it is still more of a powerhouse than the SINE. This makes it even more dangerous for the Roach in submarine combat. After battling several SINEs backed up by a pair of COSINEs, the Roach has gained a hefty respect for them. As such, Roach tries his hardest to avoid becoming trapped in an undersea fight.


TANGENT (Tactical Aerial/Nautical/Ground ENcasement Technology)

The Tactical Aerial/Nautical/Ground ENcasement Technology is ValTech’s latest MATH design from Allan Gibraltar. It is such a new design, in fact, that it still retains prototype status and so far only one operational TANGENT has been built. Unfortunately, this single operational prototype was stolen and later turned up, in modified form, as personal combat suit of the Skyhavenite super outlaw Roach. That very same theft has also threatened the design’s future, as well as that of the project that spawned it, since it made the Skyhavenite military consider cutting the funding for Project Hypotenuse. Such a consideration is unfortunate since—based on its performance under the super outlaw—it is quite a promising design.

The TANGENT’s conceptualization was an attempt to balance the capabilities of the VERTEX, VERTEX/APEX, and the COSINE. Basically, Allan Gibraltar sought to create a power suit design that, while not as fully specialized as the older MATHs, was still quite formidable in combat yet was also capable of flight operations (like the VERTEX/APEX) and undersea operations (as with the COSINE). To fit as much functions into a single suit, yet not have it too bulky and cumbersome as to render it completely useless as a power suit, the TANGENT would incorporate some technology not previously integrated into the previous MATHs.

This technology came in the form of nanite nodes. These nodes were certain pockets in the suit which contained highly-compressed, pre-programmed nanite pattern formers. These nanite nodes, while in dormant storage mode, are compact and out of the way. However, once activated, the nanite pattern formers emerge and shape themselves into whatever fully-operational piece of machinery they were programmed to form. As such, the TANGENT was capable of carrying on its person both effective and powerful jet and hydrojet engines, yet keep them out of the way when not in use. The presence of both engines allowed the TANGENT to operate both in the air and underwater, in addition to operating on the ground.

The TANGENT also inherited some features of its predecessors. Like all MATHs, the TANGENT is controlled via the suit reading the wearer’s nerve impulses through the skin. Another common feature, of course, the non-Newtonian, metal-composite armor that had proven so successful in all of the older MATHs. Another inherited feature is the advanced sensor and communications suite integrated into the armored helmet, which is just as capable as the sensor suites in the forerunner designs. Finally, there are the arm-mounted, variable-setting directed energy weapons the TANGENT also possess. These weapons power ranges are equivalent to the VERTEX’s variable power ranges, and come with the SINE and COSINE’s anti-water field capability to allow full underwater functionality.

Despite the impressive heritage of capabilities, however, the TANGENT does come with its own set of limitations. A poignant limitation is due to its “jack-of-all-trades” nature, which has brought about certain design sacrifices. First off, the suit is the most thinly-armored MATH design to date. Obviously, this means that it cannot take as much sheer punishment as the VERTEX, SINE, or COSINE. Secondly, the “poncho” over its shoulder wherein the folding wings are anchored also tend to limit the suit’s range of arm movement, although it does provide some extra upper torso protection. Additionally, the compromises in design also affect its performance in the air and underwater, with the TANGENT at a disadvantage in terms of aerial maneuverability, undersea agility, and undersea speed. Lastly, the TANGENT cannot be fitted with as much weapons as the VERTEX or COSINE. Consequently, it cannot dish out as much punishment as the aforementioned suits.

Still, a properly thought out use of the suit’s jack-of-all trades ability can overcome its limitations. Indeed, Roach has already proved this, using creatively the capabilities of the modified TANGENT to surmount its disadvantages and use the other MATHs specializations against them. The data Roach has provided on the TANGENT’s performance has also, ironically, allowed Allan Gibraltar to improve on the TANGENT’s design, building on its strengths. In fact, a new suit incorporating all of the things learned from observing Roach is already in works.

However, the TANGENT project’s future is still very much uncertain. Even with the upgraded suits on the way, the fact that a stolen one is running around threatens the continuance of its budget. The fact that many believe that the specialized suits are already enough for all the roles BOTTLECAP or the Skyhaven military in general will ever need also brings to question the continued viability of a more expensive and, in specialized areas at least, less capable design.
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Re: Project Hypotenuse

Post by Mobius 1 » Mon May 26, 2008 7:15 pm

It occurs to me that, if/when Skyhaven eventually joins SDI, this program will mushroom like nothing else. These suits are rather spiffy, and with the addition of a runaway defense budget, would be perfect for squad-level support for the evil force (Atlanteans/Gorillas/Kaiju/Mechons/Martians) attacking NYC of the week. Beef them up and they'd certainly be capable of running with low and mid-level metas, making them perfect for meta-control teams, like Project Aces.

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Re: Project Hypotenuse

Post by Ford Prefect » Tue May 27, 2008 2:09 am

Yes, get MSN!

And I still can't get over how far you ran with the mathematics theme. Gibraltar must be borderline insane. :D That said, I wonder what the actual role of the suits are, apart from taking down the Roach. It's not exactly like Skyhaven has much in the way of terrestial enemies, and only human level combatants and technology is particularly worth pitting these suits against.

incidentally, ValTech would probably make much more money by building tanks which use the same armour as the VERTEX suit. Hundreds of millimetres of that armour would be considerably more effective, I imagine.
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Malchus
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Re: Project Hypotenuse

Post by Malchus » Tue May 27, 2008 3:16 am

Hm, one of the reasons I didn't get MSN before was because I had a slow dial-up. But now that I have a decent DSL connection, eh ,why not?

And I imagine Skyhaven does have armored vehicles with similar armor to the suits. It's just that another company won the contract for those. As for their roles, the SINE and COSINE already have some obvious practical nautical applications. As for the VERTEX and VERTEX/APEX, mostly special ops or lower level meta/monster/not-average-enemy actions.
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