XV 81 Close Assault Crisis Suit
Ethereal Glory Pattern Command Suit
[Cargo hold of 3rd D'Yanoi Expeditionary Force Flagship "Eternal Shadow"]
Fio'El Vior'La Elan'Ro stood in the middle of the crisis suit maintenance hanger, a large curtain draped across the bay behind him. High ranking representatives of each caste stood nearby, talking quietly amongst themselves. The Shas seemed particularly excited, speculating on what could be behind the display. Elan'Ro cleared his throat noisily, causing the conversations to slowly dwindle out.
"Worthy Aun, Master Fio'O, assembled Shas, Por and Kor," he began, shifting nervously from hoof to hoof. "It is with much humility and pleasure that I present you the XV 81 'Ethereal Glory' pattern Close Assault Crisis Suit. This XV 81 was made specially for Shas'O D'Yanoi Aloh'raik'an, as a tool with which he may further our work to spread the Greater Good to the stars. His specification were very demanding, but our engineers demonstrated great skill and perseverance. It would please me, assembled Tau, to present to you the unique capabilities of the XV 81 Close Assault Crisis Suit."
At a nod from Elan'Ro, an aid pulled on a lever to raise the curtain up. The audience gazed in silence as the war machine was slowly revealed. It glistened with the sheen that only a virgin machine could, the blue, black and red of Aloh'raik'an's Blooded Eternity cadre glowing under the maintenance lights. After letting his audience stare for a few moments, Elan'Ro began his presentation.
"Shas'O Aloh'raik'an anticipates that the next campaign will be against the armored Gue'La, and as such he expects that close quarters combat will be unavoidable," he began, nodding towards the new commander. "The modifications undertaken were designed to meet the Gue'La head on and defeat them at their own strengths. As you will notice, the chassis has been enhanced significantly. The limbs have been lengthened to facilitate greater agility and speed while also increasing effectiveness in close combat. Furthermore, the armor has been heavily reinforced with Iridium, matching the protection offered by the so called 'Terminator' armor encountered in major campaigns. The only drawback is that the jets have trouble compensating for the added weight and may not provide adequate thrust, but this has been deemed an acceptable sacrifice.
"In addition to requesting the ability to match the armored Gue'La in combat, Shas'O Aloh'raik'an has requested a way to depart combat at his choosing and leave his foes to the mercy of his Cadre," he continued, nervousness forgotten as he began feeling the pride of his work. "As such, may I direct your attention to the vectored retro thruster system? Though fuel consumption is greatly increased during activation, power may be diverted to the retro thrusters to provide a marked increase in speed and agility that can be used to leap from combat or maneuver through difficult terrain. The wings aid in directing the jet wash as well as providing shielding from enemy attacks.
"The modifications to the head were also extensive, requiring a full redesign of the standard XV8 sensor suite and armor. The mask and chin, while providing an intimidating visage, are primarily a short range targeting and tracking system designed to keep up with the chaos of close quarters combat. A multitracker was the basis for the sensor suite, with components from a targeting array and blacksun filter.
"The weapons Shas'O Aloh'raik'an chose were modified as well, based on his previous load out. The Plasma Rifle has an extended barrel and increased capacitor...well...capacity. The Cyclic Ion Blaster, in the left hand, has an extended magazine and a slightly higher rate of fire. We unfortunately were unable to accomplish more, but low grade Ion weapons are still in the experimental stage. Due to the close range fighting, both weapons were designed to be dropped to prevent them from becoming damaged during combat.
"However, this XV 81 was designed to fight Gue'La in hand to hand combat and defeat them. While I do understand that standard Shas doctrine calls for close combat to be avoided if possible, and relegated to the Kroot when not, the Shas'O briefed our engineers that it would be inevitable. He specifically pointed out the threat that the jet equipped Gue'La pose if deployed by a skilled commander. He also pointed out the ability of “power” weapons to negate the thickest armor, and the threat posed by their heavy weapons.
"As such, we developed the Power Shield. By itself, it will stop nearly any attack short of a rail gun slug. However, the inclusion of a shield generator overcomes even this shortfall. The energy field also has the side effect of acting in the same manner as the Gue'La power weapons, denying the Gue'La their own protection. The only drawback is that it draws a great deal of power, and so the shield cannot extend to cover the entire suit. Hence, the Shas'O needs to intercept the incoming attacks with the shield, though the sensor suite has programming that can track those attacks and allow him to adjust the shield accordingly.
"And so, sirs, it is my privilege to present this XV 81 to Shas'O D'Yanoi Aloh'raik'an," Elan'Ro finished, bowing to the Shas. After the commander nodded and smiled, Elan'Ro turned back to the rest of the Tau assembled. "We will upload the plans to the main database as per regulations, and begin modifications to our existing fleet of crisis suits. Thank you for your time, and may our efforts continue to spread the Greater Good."
My inspiration for this suit came heavily from Gundam Wing, primarily the Wing Gundam and Wing Zero. The Tael pattern suit of course was an influence, as was Jutami's Invader style head. I started out copying them exactly, noticed the similarity to a Gundam style head, and got the sudden idea to go with huge shoulders, wings, a massive shield and all the works. Many thanks to the people who responded to my WIP thread with enouragement and ideas.
The WIP thread may be found here: http://advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?t=8422
The showcase and character rules may be found here: http://advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?t=8991