by Max Barry

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The Infinite Empire of
Father Knows Best State

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The Imperial Military (Hub Page; Branch Pages Linked Within)

The Imperial Military:

The Cybusian Empire has faced many enemies since it has come into existence, be they foreign powers who opposed Alexanders expansions, rebels who sought to forge a new order from within, or foul monsters with no goals but to kill or feed on innocents. The Imperial Military keeps these hordes at bay, and to help the Empire expand even further.

The Imperial Navy
The Imperial Navy was the first branch created by Alexander, to ferry his Evolved to other worlds. Originally bulky transports armed simply with lasers, the Navy quickly evolved into a lethal, high-tech fleet of ships Alex used to subjugate and enslave countless worlds. During the Rebellion, the primary Cybusian battleship was the Tesla Class, armed with many particle cannons and plasma weapons. Following Alex’s death, the Navy was relegated to defense purposes, though with his resurrection came a return to offensive action. A new, continuing expansion was started, not for subjugation and enslavement, as before, but to unite all realities under a single banner.
The Navy fulfills several roles, defense of the Empire and its assets being first and foremost, with Imperial expansion being its other main mission. Operations against tyrannical governments are often undertaken as well. Anti-piracy operations, humanitarian aid deployment, the development of Imperial colonies “from scratch”, so to speak, and enforcing planetary quarantines (in cooperation with the Imperial Center for Disease Control) are some of the Navy’s secondary missions.
Imperial naval doctrine emphasizes firepower and survivability. Many foreign designs, including capital ships, have only a few dozen weapon systems. Cybusian designs boast hundreds of weapon emplacements. When not in battle, Imperial vessels resemble beautiful Art Deco vessels, with only enough weapon systems visible to dissuade attack. Upon the initiation of combat, the Art Deco ornamentation of the ship retracts and folds in to reveal heavy armor plating and thousands of weapon emplacements.

The Imperial Army
The first few conquests by the Evolved were conducted solely using their natural abilities, albeit wearing armor Alex had designed. This worked well for the first few years, but it was realized that a standing military was needed, to train Evolved how to fight most effectively, and how to use ranged weapons. The Imperial Army quickly became an advanced force, utilizing power armor and plasma and particle weapons. During the Rebellion, due to the speed of the Orsonian advance, the Army saw only occasional combat, but when they did see combat, they made the Orsonians pay dearly for every world taken. Now the Imperial Army is an advanced, powerful force which is tasked with expanding the Empire and defending its worlds from enemy invasion. Secondary missions include suppressing rebellions and containing Drakul outbreaks in conjunction with Torchwood and the Navy.

Imperial Army doctrine centers around adaptability, maneuverability, protection, and firepower. Almost every Imperial vehicle has weapons to engage both infantry and vehicles, and typically aircraft as well, ensuring they can counter any threat, and can take any punishment dished out, thanks to ACE, ERA, and shields. Typical Imperial Army deployments feature “packs” of various variants of Courser Utility Vehicles, swarming the battlefield, taking out whatever they can, avoiding what they cannot until heavier units can destroy them, while Wolf tanks deal with emplacements or heavy armor the Coursers can’t take down. Crusaders and dropships deploy Evolved infantry into battle, typically at the same time Courser “packs” are deployed. Technological superiority, coupled with the speed and fluidity of Imperial attacks, overwhelm most opponents.
Imperial vehicles and armor tend to have an Art Deco aesthetic, mixing cool beauty with deadly firepower.

The Imperial Marines
Arguably the toughest and most aggressive members of the Cybusian Military, the Imperial Marines are the Empire’s shock troops, blasting holes in defenses through which Army assets pour through. They are also responsible for shipboard defense. Many Marines are extraordinarily proud of their nation, and their branch of the military in particular. Marines are primarily drawn from outer colony worlds, unlike Navy crews, who often come from the more prestigious inner worlds, and are often well-educated, Navy captains will establish a professional relationship with the commander of the Marine contingent onboard, but there is generally a perception that they are cruder and less intelligent, which has some merit, as the average Marine has a reputation for being gung-ho, patriotic, and masculine. This has led to many jokes about the admiralty trembling in terror at the idea of rednecks at the helms of their battleships. Despite this, a contingent of Marines are a captains best friend in a boarding situation, and they respect their ferocity in combat, if not their rural backgrounds.
In combat, Marines make heavy use of air support, IFVs and tanks, and orbital bombardment, and employ several unique weapon systems such as Ranger Hardlight Carbines and Seeker Guided Rifles for any ship-board combat situations along with Brawler shotguns.
One notable former Marine is Torchwood Director John Forge, Forge served in the Marines for approximately 50 years, before and during the Rebellion, rising to the rank of captain, but refusing further promotion because he wanted to keep fighting rather than be in charge of coordination. Only when Nathan Koenig approached him and offered him command of Torchwood did he relent, though he will still happily engage in combat at any opportunity at presents itself, often undertaking missions himself rather than letting other Agents do so.

Not officially a branch of the military, and possessing a separate command structure, I nonetheless included it here. Torchwood is officially the Cybusian Empires intelligence-gathering organization, but is also in charge of all stealth ships, commando units, and special operations. Founded by Alexander shortly after creating the Empire, Yvonne Hartman was originally placed in charge. Under her administration, Torchwood primary goal was to suppress Orsonian uprisings. They failed in this capacity, though the deputy director, Nathan Koenig, did end up saving Alex's life when she fired a flare directly at Charles Orsons head to distract him and giving Alex a chance to go on the offensive, forcing Charles to flee, and leading to the end of the Battle of Arcadia, and the signing of the Treaty of Arcadia. Despite this bravery, immediately following the Battle of Arcadia, Alex personally went to her office and proceeded to torture and Consume her for failing to do her job. Following Alex's death and subsequent resurrection by Dr. Nathan Koenig, who headed Torchwood at the time, Torchwood took on a new role, beyond collecting information and suppressing insurrection. Koenig was demoted to deputy director, and John Forge took charge. Forge, having spent centuries as an Imperial Marine, knew that Torchwood needed to be more active in its role. Taking Koenigs prototype stealth ships, he designated them Prowlers, and armed them to become advanced stealth warships intended for battlefield support and covert infiltration. Under his administration, which is ongoing, Agents are not merely intelligence operatives, they are each an army unto themselves. Agents are elite combatants, with an expert knowledge of combat, strategy, manipulation, psychology, and sociology, programming, hacking, and biology. While every Agent is armed and dangerous, the truly lethal arm of Torchwood are its Kill-Teams, such as the Void Ravens, and it's Prowlers.

The Imperial Military, regardless of branch, uses two unique armor systems, ACE and ERA.

Energy Regenerative Armor is employed on all Imperial warship designs, most armored vehicles and the larger aerial combat vehicles. When used on vehicles, it grants them near-invulnerability to small arms, directed energy weapons, explosives and kinetic weapons for a prolonged period of time. 
When employed on warships, it merely augments the resilience of the vessel. While its power requirements are easily met by huge Dark Matter Reactors, it also offers huge advantages when engaging in combat with other spacecraft. It can splinter MAC rounds, shrug off high explosive and armor piercing rounds and harmlessly absorb directed energy weapons. When antimatter and nuclear weapons are used against ERA, the resulting energy increases the impregnability of the armor by several hundred times. It is only ever used as an addition to more conventional armor technologies, for instance solidified Hydruim armor or ACE armor.
ERA consists of two layers of armor. The first is an energy-ablative, superconductive metamaterial layer. This layer effectively traps almost all of the energy from enemy fire, whether that be the impact of kinetic weapons, chemical energy, or others. While not providing the perfect defense, its primary function is to feed this energy to the layer below. This is a variable property, energy reactive layer of extremely advanced nanomaterial whose properties change when exposed to massive energy. In short, the armour becomes stronger when under fire. The layer absorbs varying degrees of energy from the attack it is under, using this bombardment to directly increase the strength of the armor, by several hundred times in some cases. In tests, ERA absorbed close to 100% of the energy from directed energy weapons, and 96% of the kinetic energy and 98.5% of the chemical energy it was struck with.

ACE Armor:
Advanced Composite Endurance armor is the primary Imperial armor, used on all Imperial warships, small craft, and armored vehicles. Composed of a series of advanced armors and composites, it is typically placed over ERA armor. The outer layer is composed of a series of thick plates of Solidified Hydrium armor, Hydrium being a gas mined from several Imperial worlds, noted for its lifting qualities. When solidified, Hydrium is incredibly strong and very light, in a somewhat similar manner to Titanium. Under this lies a layer of carbon nanotubes, a layer of Titanium, sandwiched between lead. Beneath this is another layer of Solidified Hydrium, and a layer which is a composite mix of Solidified Hydrium and Titanium, as well as carbon nanotubes.