Ahnold is a ranged assault fighter. His weapons allow him to mow down large groups of enemies, while his armor gives him great mobility and bursts of strength.
A sharp clang followed the big man’s roaring hiss. He sucked in a slow breath as he lowered the dumbbells, then gave another rasping exhalation as he pushed the weights back over his chest. CLANG! Again he turned his forearms and lowered his elbows, veins pulsating, screaming against his skin. The chronometer strapped to his bicep pinged. Thirty seconds.
“Sir?” A young woman's voice, small and timid, called over the intercom.
CLANG! Ahnold heard Rowan’s go-for, but gave no response, keeping kept his mouth taut and eyes on the ceiling. Damn techie. CLANG!
“Sir, we're…” The speaker clicked off and on. “We're ready for you.”
CLANG! You've been ready an hour, he thought, his lips twisting in a sneer. The stiff necks in Research and Development had postponed three of his last four visits to the Forge, the engineering bay. He was merely repaying the favor. CLANG! As he started to lower the weights, the monitor on his arm went off again, signaling the end of his session. Ahnold stood, dropped the barbells on their rack and grabbed a towel from a nearby shelf.
“Sir, I must insist…” The caller wavered, her meek tone growing increasingly high before trailing off. “Director Rowan-”
“Rowan will wait,” Ahnold snarled, his voice guttural. He despised the presumptuous self-important swagger of the director and his brood. “How many times must I be measured for your robo-onesie?”
“Um, actually, sir, we need you at the Colosseum. We're ready to test.”
The giant frowned, wiping sweat from his face and shoulders as he crossed the gym. He slammed his fist into a panel by the door as he threw the towel over a shoulder. The steel slabs parted slowly, revealing the source of the interruption.
She was small and slight, lean, but not in a healthy sense. Ahnold was hesitant to label her “sickly,” but it was damn close; she wore the stark white uniform like a coathanger. A little mouse venturing out of the burrow, she carried the sterile stink of the lab.
“When did R and D start meeting deadlines?” He stood over her, glowering.
The mouse blushed, swallowed, and straightened her shoulders. “About the same time soldiers started questioning orders.”
Sass. The sudden burst of brass from the young woman amused him. Another weaponette. Never pulled a trigger, but knows how to pull rank - even if it’s not her own. His scowl gave way to a salacious leer, deciding she would be his next conquest, another tally on the board. He would use her, then discard her, the same as he had already done to a dozen other women or so - he had lost count - since his arrival.
“Director Rowan is waiting for us at the testing ground, sir. If you’ll come with me...”
“I know where it is.” He wavered her off and threw the towel at her feet, grabbing his shirt on his way out the door.***
Director Rowan was waiting for Ahnold at the Colosseum hatch, flabby arms crossed over his ample chest. His bald head and fat, flushed cheeks glistened under the artificial light, further accentuating his displeasure. He was flanked by two more mice, small, frail men in fine, bleached uniforms. “I trust you’re well, major.”
“If I were any better, I’d sneeze rainbows.” Ahnold continued past the officer into the testing arena without initiating eye contact.
“Charming, as always.” Rowan wheezed, following the large soldier, his subordinates scampering after him.
The Colosseum was a large amphitheater, enclosed on all sides by metal and glass. Though currently static, a series of motorized ramps and platforms were raised along the floor and walls. In the center of the open space a trio of technicians were disconnecting a series of flickering cords from a hulking, segmented shell, winding them back onto the diagnostic cart.
“Sequencing is complete, director,” said the closest technician, the lead engineer. “Shall we commence biometric scan?”
Ahnold sniffed loudly and shifted his jaw, twisting back to face Rowan, mentally challenging him to question his physicality. The two locked eyes for an instant, but the fat man quickly relented, quickly shifting his gaze to the floor. That's right.
“No.” The director extended a hand to the ovoid dome as he turned on his heel. “Suit up, major.”
The big man smirked. “Let’s party.”
As if on cue, the giant, metal egg gave an electronic shriek as its layered plates began to shift and split, the chassis lifting up on wide, robust legs. The faint glow emanating from deep within the shell grew increasingly bright as power surged throughout underlying cybernetics and circuitry. The frame jerked as it expanded, upheaving the chest cavity and stretching its extremities. Fully configured, the exo-suit stood a towering eight feet. The high-pitched whine dropped an octave, becoming a soft steady hum.
“All systems online,” chirped a subordinate tech, checking and double checking feedback reports on his tablet. “Nexus linked. Biometrics linked. Reactor online. Weapons online.” He slid a finger along the edge of the screen and the armor shifted, the chestplate and waistguard releasing.
Before the lead could respond, Ahnold shoved him aside. The exo-suit was online, locked to his biometric signature, and ready to roll. He turned and stepped backwards into the powered armor as though he were sliding into a tuxedo coat. He gave a grunt of approval as he settled into the cavity, the plates closing and locking in place. “Leather interior, surround sound, shoulder mount, RIFT generator, dual-force impact engines… No humidor?”
The suit’s architects gave no indication that they had heard him and left the arena.
The armor’s personal shield generator and interface protocols activated with surprising speed. Not bad, techies. The big man grinned in spite of himself, moving his arms and watching the robotic extensions move with and mimic the motions. The left hand was a monstrous gauntlet able to apply, according the interface, 9,001 to 29,001 PSI. The right arm ended in a rail gun. Not bad at all. He raised the mechanical limbs and flexed.
“If you're finished, major…” His smile dissipated as Rowan’s face appeared on the interface display. “Let’s begin.”
The Colosseum surged to life about him. The motorized platforms and ramps began undulating, rising one moment, dropping the next. The exoskeleton’s sensors picked up electrical currents opening throughout the arena, tracking the varying levels of voltage, anticipating where the power would be allocated and, thus, where the next shift would occur.
“There is a beacon at the far end of the ring.” The director’s flat, heavy voice sounded in his ear. “You need only claim it.”
“You got it, cutie pie.”
“Then let’s begin.” The channel closed and Rowan disappeared, the empty space quickly filled with an overlay or metrics and measurements.
The soldier started towards the beacon, gaining speed as he progressed over the shifting terrain of the amphitheatre. Turrets rose out of the shifting terrain, turning and locking on as he surged forward. The treble of an alert signaled the impending threats, UI sensors highlighting each increased energy flux that preceded fire. The world around Ahnold erupted in a cloudburst of ricochets and tracer rounds - but the armor’s energy shield remained secure, deflecting each shot. One by one, he locked on each target, neutralizing each turret with a single blast from his cannon.
“Is that the best you’ve got?” Ahnold jeered, knowing the comm was an open line.
At the far end of the arena, just behind the beacon, two portals yawned open and long, insectoid beasts scuttled out on a half-dozen legs. The smaller, leaner arachnid brandished twin tails with long, barbed stingers. The larger of the two arthropods boasted three razor-sharp pincers and a spiked, chitinous shell. They hesitated a half-second, orientating themselves to the chaos, then set their dead, black eyes on the mammoth figure advancing. The suit’s scanners estimated each creature’s speed and strength, pinpointing gaps in their shell and soft tissue at joints.
“Stinger” lept forward, tails flailing, knocking the armored soldier to the floor. Ahnold rolled to his side, the insect’s keen barb scraping the back of the mech, and roared an incoherent curse at having misjudged the creature’s dexterity. As the second tail came down, he locked his glove on the spiked tip, crushing it like an egg. He slammed the rail gun into a crevice along the beast’s backside and fired twice, releasing as it reeled about, running back towards “Claw.”
He chuckled, activating his RIFT booster. “Oh, no you don't.”
Coordinates flashed on the UI, calculating the jump to the target. After acknowledging the path, a thunderous crack sounded and a portal opened overhead. Ahnold leapt up into the fissure of light and instantaneously dropped down from a second portal onto the fleeing insect, just as it reached its crab-like counterpart. He fired two more bursts into the meat behind the beast’s scaled head and “Stinger” fell flat onto its stomach, unmoving.
He turned as “Claw” lumbered forward, its pincers and mandibles snapping wildly. The first and second strike glanced off his shield and the suit diverted power, expelling excess heat and pressure through the vents along his back, as the third came down. Sputum dribbled from the creature’s jaws as it stooped towards Ahnold, the thick froth sizzling against the energy barrier.
“Smile, you ugly bastard.” The shoulder mount spun to life, firing a series of shots into the beast’s gaping mouth.
“Claw” toppled over onto “Stinger” and Ahnold touched the beacon.
|Height:||6'10" - 8'(suit)|
Your massive armored fist slams into enemies dealing damage.
A light load railgun shot damages your enemies from range.
Your shoulder mounted gatling gun spins up, laying waste to enemies in your forward arc.
Charging your railgun up, you unleash a powerful blast at your enemies.
Overcharging your power suit for a short time, gain a bonus to melee attacks and movement speed.
Harnessing your power suits Rift-Jump Tech, jump to target location dealing AOE damage from point of impact.