Rarely is progress, drastic progress, a linear and consistent process. It comes in fits and starts, inventions that spark a period of rapid advancement and revolution. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century was one, the start of the Digital Age another. Progress, of course, continues after these revolutions; but they are the spark.
Thirty years ago was such a revolution. The establishment of the very first colony outside of our orbit. It wasn’t very far, just near the Moon, but it was groundbreaking. The first success, funded in large part by private entities, was the start of rapid expansion. Colonies were springing up further and further away, each one more populated than the last. Within fifteen years there were several dozen self-sustaining colonies between Earth and Mars. Some funded privately, some publicly, but all several days beyond easy reach. At the minimum. The furthest colony to date takes weeks to reach.
Once upon a time, it would have taken the better part of a year. Advancements in propulsion have cut that time down, but it still is a trip not to be taken lightly. This relative isolation, naturally, led the disparate colonies to band together. Eventually they sought recognition by the Earth Federation, the governing body established some seventy years ago, as an entity all their own. The Ark Union, as they called themselves, earned as much sovereignty as any member state of the Federation.
Not that everything was perfect. Even now some states refuse to join the Federation, and small-scale border skirmishes occur every few years, if not months. None are large enough, or united enough, to engage in outright warfare with the Federation but the sentiment is there. Some took advantage of the relative autonomy found in space to establish themselves as roving bandits, fueling even further the development of arms for the new age.
That field would experience its own revolution, however, when he Ark Union developed the Arsenal Walker. The term used to be just the project’s code name, but it was quickly adopted as the name of the new weapon system. A humanoid machine, roughly twenty five meters tall, controlled by a pilot seated in an interior cockpit. Multitudes of thrusters arrayed on its frame provided for exceptional maneuverability in space, and its humanoid design allowed for much more adaptability to situations. This machine, AW-001, was more a testbed than a true product. It lacked refinement, and it lacked for weaponry, but it was a powerful statement. The creator, the Dyson Foundation, had also funded the creation of the very first colony. AW-001 has its roots in equipment designed for heavy lifting and construction, both in and out of atmosphere, but one of their engineers saw its potential.
Notably, the Dyson Foundation sold the framework for the AW-001 to anyone willing to pay. Independent engineering propelled the system forward rapidly, multiple corporations tweaking and improving upon the design. After a time, even the Earth Federation, seeing the way the winds were blowing, purchased several frames.
Engineering them for use on Earth’s surface was a more difficult task, but one taken very seriously. For alongside the revolutions in engineering, news of certain other practices in the colonies was breaking.
An inspector from the Earth Federation found that multiple government-funded projects were undertaking illegal genetics research into cloning and gene manipulation, using the results as an easy labor force for the colonies. Despite sanctions by the Federation, the work continued. Eventually the practices became widespread, leading to mounting tensions between the Federation and its member entity.
Those tensions continue to this day, thirty years since the colonies were founded. The isolation of the Ark Union made investigations into its activities difficult, and its representatives, seeking space to expand upon the Earth itself, have become increasingly belligerent. As the sanctions mount, so too have tensions between the Federation and the Union. Tempers are running high.
On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?
To make a long story short, a wide range of colonies between here and Mars were established thirty years ago. The colonies invented Arsenal Walkers, the war machines currently in use by all factions, and began using cloning and genetic manipulation to both engineer their citizens and their work force. Tensions between the Federation and colonies are high, and may be approaching a breaking point.
You will play as a civilian or soldier of the Federation, stationed in Horizon. As these events unfold, you will have your part to play.
Miles from where a continent was cut in two, one of half a dozen pipelines to space has become the nucleus to a thriving city of around four and a half million souls. Horizon is one of half a dozen such cities, cities that sprang up around the sites of the most critical pipelines to space: mass drivers. The massive complex used to bring people into space is situated in the outskirts of the city, connected by a major highway to the heart of the metropolis. The complex, in addition to the mass driver, houses docking for ships leaving and arriving on Earth.
In addition to the driver, Horizon plays host to a large harbor and airport, permitting travel across the globe as well as from it.
Given its nature as a hub of transportation, Horizon plays host to outposts of major corporations, tourist services, and more trade than anyone could fathom. Items shipped through the city inevitably drop part of their wares with its stores, taking advantage of the city’s constant traffic to make sales. The urban sprawl is set up remarkably well, with parks interspersed throughout the city and pedestrian-friendly bridges over major roads. The corporate side of things, be they offices or warehouses, are located near the outskirts of the city, leaving the center free for residence and smaller businesses. The beach is a frequent attraction, especially for those coming from space, as it is situated close to the mass driver facility.
A Federation Armed Forces military base is located on the outskirts of the city, as well, with its diplomatic offices closer to the city center. The base is a surprisingly large one, possessing extensive facilities for Walker maintenance and launch, as well as a large Research and Development wing. The facility has its own shipyard, though its vessels are (primarily) docked near the mass driver when not on business to the base proper.
Horizon, situated within a Federation member state, is governed by its laws. With the cultural exchange of a largely open world, various regional cultures and traditions are intermixed under a fairly standard legal code.
Mecha and Technology:
The primary weapon of war, in this time period, is the Arsenal Walker. Though often supported by more traditional vehicles and soldiers, Walkers have revolutionized the battlefield. Standing, on average, about 20 meters tall, these mechanical humanoids possess roughly human proportions, though the details may vary. The average Walker is agile enough to outmaneuver the average main battle tank, and those not maneuverable enough are armored enough to take a shot from one and keep on ticking. Walkers are powered by miniature cold fusion reactors, usually secreted away in the torso, and piloted from a cockpit inside the machine. Primary sensor arrays are housed in head-like units on the top of the machine.
All Walkers, no matter how complex they become, all have their roots in the original AW-001 frame. As a result of this, and the Federation’s work in keeping things consistent, most technology used by them can with a little work be used in most other Walkers. A few noteworthy exceptions aside.
More information on individual units can be found in the Walkers tab.
Space travel, similarly, has advanced. Mass drivers are used to propel large, space-faring ships (be they military or civilian) out of Earth’s atmosphere, and most vessels are designed to be capable of re-entry under their own power, as well as flight in-atmosphere. Ships are propelled by EM Drives, first discovered in the 21st century and refined in the modern day. These engines run on minimal fuel, and are capable of traversing the distance to Mars in roughly seventy days. They can reach, provided an uninterrupted flight, the furthest permanent colony in roughly fifty six days.
Military ships are armored, and make use (primarily) of railguns and other projectile weaponry. Newer and larger ships brought out of drydock by the Federation are just starting to make use of focused beam weapons, and they are very much in the trial phase.
Colonies have been established between here and Mars, the nearest being a few cities of varying size on the Moon, and the furthest being on Mars. Colonies established in space, rather than on a planet or planetoid, take the form of O’Neil cylinders or derivatives thereof; vast cylindrical colonies with panels arranged around a center axis. The colony spins on this axis to generate artificial gravity by way of centrifugal force.
All Federation Walkers are, as a rule, equipped with additional protection around the cockpit and an effective ejection mechanism for the pilot. Most weaponry used is, due to a shared base frame, compatible across all Walkers with some effort. Almost all Walkers are also equipped with a melee weapon of some kind, in the event that their enemy closes to melee range. Most weaponry are either heated to aid in penetration, for large weapons, or modified to act as a vibroblade, for smaller weapons like knives.
FAW-007[G] Warrior: One of the earliest functional designs still in service. While the machines are consistently upgraded to keep current, the base frame has not changed. 22 meters tall, slightly above average for a Walker, the Warrior is the workhorse of the Federation Forces. Something of a jack of all trades, the Warrior is reasonably armored and reasonably agile, excelling in neither area while performing adequately in both. The ground variant of the Warrior has been painted in every color from Federation Forces standard to camo variants for urban, desert, and jungle warfare. Possessing space for a number of additional systems and weapons, the baseline model is equipped with standard sensors and a combat rifle with shield. Cockpit is present inside the chest. Melee weapons vary, but commonly equipped with Walker-scaled machetes.
FAW-016 Gunner: Designed to fill the artillery role, the stocky, 25m Gunner is one of the heaviest machines on the battlefield. It sacrifices its mobility for unusually durable armor, and unusually high levels of firepower. The baseline model’s power supply feeds directly into a pair of downsized railguns that angle over its shoulders, propelling various slugs at high velocities towards their targets. Various other weapon systems are constantly present, outfitted and changed based both on pilot preference and mission requirements. Its benefits, however, come at a cost; the railguns require most of the power core’s output when fired, requiring the machine to be completely still for its operation. Its abundance of weapon systems, as well, reduces its short range sensor options and the multitude of controls necessary for a pilot to operate in order to use both weapons and other functions is immense. For this reason, the original FAW-016 has largely been phased out in favor of the FAW-016A, redesigned for two pilots; one to control the suit’s primary functions, and the other to act as a gunner. The original can still be found in use, however. Both variants have their cockpits in the chest, while the FAW-016A has a fighter jet style two-seater cockpit. Melee armaments vary, both in type and presence, but often take the form of some kind of ax.
FAW-014 Scout: Roughly 17m tall, the Scout is one of the smallest, in height and mass, Walkers fielded by the Federation. Its design clearly echoes its purpose, with more thrusters and less armor than any other design currently in service. The Scout, as the name implies, is meant to be an advance recon unit, responding to (and performing reconnaissance on) potential threats before they arrive. Its speed and agility are second to none on the ground, but it comes at the cost of armor and heavier weapon systems. Some Scouts have been modified to carry more potent weapons without the reduction in speed, but such designs are uncommon; they require ever further reduction of the already comparably frail machine’s armor. Cockpit is located in the chest, standard sensor array, Melee weapons vary, though commonly a small machete or set of knives.
FAW-022 Raptor: One of the newest models, the Raptor is one of the most effective transformable Walkers. At 19.6m the Raptor is around the average Walker size, and every meter has been optimized for aerial combat. First developed from flight capable backpacks for other Walkers, Raptors possess a large array of powerful thrusters, with the most powerful embedded in the back. Smaller thrusters can be found in the legs for added stability. These thrusters grant the Raptor unparalleled speed in the air, at the cost of armor. However the most unique feature of the Raptor is it’s ability to transform into a high speed aerial fighter form. Capable of achieving incredibly high speeds, the Raptor is able to easily outperform the fighters of old. In terms of armaments, the transformable nature of the Raptor means that only possesses a single gun in Walker mode and small machine guns built into its head. Combat knives can also be added into holsters built into the legs, a variant with a missile system installed does exist. However said variant comes at the cost of some speed, and the missiles are most effective in aerial combat. However the main drawback of the Raptor is the high strain it places on the body, as such only the most able of pilots are capable of flying a Raptor in combat. Cockpit is located in the chest in Walker mode but becomes the nose cone in Flight mode. A slightly upgraded sensor array is built into the Raptor to allow for greater ease during dog fighting.
Colony Arsenal Walkers tend towards a cleaner design than their Federation counterparts, resulting from their greater familiarity with the mechanics of the system. They also tend towards darker or neutral colors, reflecting the fact that their primary intended use environment is space and such colors aid in camouflaging their location.
CW-018 Assaulter: The Assaulter is the Ark Union’s standard machine. Built around an updated version of the AW-001’s original frame, and thus sharing some similarities with the Federation’s Walkers, the Assaulter is nevertheless a very modern unit. It’s slightly smaller stature, compared to a Warrior, stems from the more efficient nature of its internal mechanics, requiring less room than its Federation counterpart. Designed for use both in space and on the ground without requiring modifications, the Assaulter uses its additional thrusters for maximum maneuverability on the ground. It matches the Scout’s maneuverability with the Warrior’s armor and adaptability. Generally deployed with a shield as well as an assault weapon, with a backup heavy-caliber sidearm stored on its hip. Heat blades are stored behind either shoulder. The Assaulter also sports vulcans in its cranial unit for use against lightly armored targets.
CW-019 Behemoth: Built around the same core frame as the CW-019, the Behemoth is a heavy-assault type Walker. Featuring more armor than an Assaulter, putting it a ways above a Warrior in terms of defensive capabilities, the Behemoth also mounts a riot shield on its shoulder and a cannon attached to its back. The cannon fires 155mm rounds using the same magnetic technology as a Gunner. It boasts a more robust power core, enabling it to fire the cannon without need to stop moving. When deployed the cannon will swing under the arm to be gripped using a handle atop the barrel. The Behemoth generally deploys, additionally, with a heavy assault rifle with an underslung explosive launcher and heat-based melee weapons over the shoulders. Despite its more efficient nature, the Behemoth does sacrifice some of the Assaulter’s maneuverability; while capable of easily outmaneuvering a Gunner, a lightly-armored Warrior could match its speed.
The profile form is included below. If there are headings that are not there that you wish to use, feel free to add them; these ones, however, are absolutely necessary for a character’s approval. If your character possesses a Walker, you must also fill out a profile for their machine.
All military characters are part of the Federation Forces, and it is recommended that civilian characters have some kind of proximity, either socially or location-wise, to the military to avoid being too spread out to interact with the plot.
Name: Self explanatory.
Age: Also fairly self explanatory.
Gender: I feel like I really don’t need to explain these first three headings; gender goes here.
Occupation: What does your character do for a living? If they’re military, please note rank here as well, bearing in mind that most of your characters aren’t going to be very high ranked.
Appearance: What does your character look like? Please be detailed. You don’t have to write a novel just about how your character looks, but please be more detailed than just jotting down a few characteristics.
Equipment: What does your character carry? Weapons, medical supplies, things of that nature go here. Also use this spot to denote possession of a Walker.
Skills: What is your character good at? Be reasonable, they’re not some unstoppable super-ace.
Personality: While I understand that personalities are hard to pin down at first, please include an overview of your character’s general behavior.
Bio: Every character has a history, and here is where you outline that. This can be incredibly detailed, or fairly basic; just please give a decent overview of their past, even if other characters will not know it.
Weakness: No one is perfect. What is your character’s weakness, be it a fatal flaw or an insufficient skill?
Profile for Arsenal Walkers:
Base Model: Even customized, all Walkers have a base frame. The ones that players can start with are outlined above. If you wish to use a custom one, that is permissible; but you have to give a fairly detailed overview, and be aware that it must fit in with other mass produced models.
Designation: Even mass produced machines need something to differentiate them. What is this specific unit called?
Appearance: Describe its appearance, with particular attention to how it differs from a stock model.
Armaments: What are its weapons? Be reasonable, and bear in mind what the model of your choice could feasibly use.
Weakness: All machines have some kind of flaw.
Pilot: Self explanatory. Who pilots it?
Obey all BZPower rules.
Listen to the staff.
No godmodding; this includes, but is not limited to, autohitting, metagaming, and bunnying. I think most of you know what constitutes godmodding and what doesn’t, but if there is ever a question, err on the side of caution and take it to the staff.
Do not kill another player’s character without their permission.
If, however, a character is put in a position wherein their only option of survival is to godmod, that character will be killed.
All profiles must be approved by the staff. While there is no hard character cap, we do reserve the right to deny approval if your number of characters is getting unreasonable.
The staff will deal out punitive action as needed, though it will hopefully be unnecessary. Depending on the severity of the transgression, punishment may range from character injury to temporary or permanent ban of the player.
Please maintain a degree of realism; yes, your characters are piloting robots that should not, technically, exist, but please stick to what would be reasonable realistic.
Edited by It's A Gundam MkII, Jan 25 2016 - 01:57 AM.