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.

Torchwood
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 Prepyati, and the wide variety of advanced stealth vessels known as Prowlers

The Imperial Military, regardless of branch, uses two unique armor systems, ACE and ERA. In addition, all branches utilize the same missile system; the Multiple Payload Missile System 36.

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.

Multiple Payload Missile System 36:

The Multiple Payload Missile System, introduced in 1936, is the standard missile of the Imperial military, coming in a few size variations, accounting for method of deployment (infantry-portable missile launcher, droid-integrated launcher, vehicle mounted launcher, fighter-mounted launcher, ship-mounted pod launched), but otherwise are generally the same.
The MPMS-36, regardless of size or payload, consists of a sleek titanium body, a very thin layer of ERA, a small shield generator sufficient to withstand one kinetic or energy-based point defense strike, and a compact ion engine capable of extreme speeds, with a second ion engine which activates on terminal approach for a sudden burst of extreme speed in an attempt to outwit point defenses and impact the target. The MPMS-36 has a rudimentary AI which communicates with other munitions to coordinate methods to defeat or overwhelm point defense systems, identify targets to communicate back to the operator, and figuring out the best angle of approach given a particular payload. Though ideally the missiles will remain in contact with what fired them, their AI are still capable of engaging a pre-designated target on their own.

MPMS-36 Warheads/Payloads:
Dark Matter: The payload of the missile consists of a magnetically contained Dark Matter charge, which, upon impacting the target, detonates and reacts violently in an explosion of energy and heat.

Plasmic Charge: The payload consists of a magnetically contained plasma charge which detonates upon impact, melting and burning whatever it touches.

Plasmic Airburst: A variant of the Plasmic Charge, wherein the missile detonates in midair, the magnetic containment being prematurely ruptured over enemy positions; most effective against infantry.

High-Intensity Hardlight Beam: Equipped with compact reactor, this warhead heavily modifies the missile, making room for a small but high-capacity miniature reactor. Upon reaching the target, the nose cone of the missile breaks away to reveal a Hardlight Cannon, which uses the entire output of the reactor and all power from the engines to fire a very powerful Hardlight beam at the target, before disintegrating.

Hardlight Scatterbeam: A unique missile similar to the Hight-Intensity Hardlight Beam, this is designed to track up to 50 individual targets, often enemy missiles or small craft, and, instead of simply hitting one target, the Hardlight beam fragments into many small, shotgun-like beams of Hardlight, each beam striking the target it was tracking. Can also be used against a single vessel, striking pre-designated exterior systems such as sensors or turrets.

Surge: Equipped with a Surge warhead, this payload short-circuits and forcibly shuts down electronics within a certain radius of the detonation, approximately 10 meters in every direction.

Chemical/Biological: Equipped with small vents which open at an AI-determined point in flight, these missiles are intended to disperse chemical or biological weapons over a battlefield, either in the previously described manner or by reaching a certain point and then disintegrating the missile and allowing the payload to drift toward the target. Most commonly used by the Technate to disperse Smoxin or Westius spores, but sometimes used by Torchwood.

Silver Airburst: An explosive payload surrounded by bags of powdered silver, this warhead is only used against hordes of Drakul sufficiently large to warrant the use of military vehicles. Upon reaching a pre-determined point above the horde, the missile detonates and the scattered silver particles rain down upon the Drakul, burning their flesh and distracting them, and, if used en masse and the silver reaches certain concentrations, killing them.

UVC Warhead: Another anti-Drakul warhead, the UVC warhead is almost an entirely different version of the missile. The missile body is clear and designed to let out as much light and radiation as is possible. Upon launching, many UVC lights activate, and the missile slows, the light and UVC radiation burning Drakul flesh. The missile lands amidst the horde and does not detonate, but deploys landing prongs, and acts as a UVC ‘lighthouse’, continuing to function and burn Drakul alive until shut off or destroyed.

Sensor: A ‘passive’ warhead, this consists of a number of standard Imperial sensor systems instead of an offensive payload. The missile then feeds data to other MPMS-36’s, as well as the firing vessel.

False Detonation Warheads: Designed by Torchwood, this warhead consists of two parts; a small explosive charge containing MPMS-36 components. Upon approaching the targeted vessel, this charge detonates and the missile immediately powers down until activated by a signal from the vessel which fired it, as well as activating a localized stealth field, tricking the enemy into thinking it was destroyed; upon receiving the signal the missile resumes operation and attacks the target with whatever other warhead it is loaded with. Primarily used by Torchwood for ambush tactics in conjunction with minefields.

Jamming: Another ‘passive’ warhead, this consists of a number of full-spectrum jamming devices, jamming enemy sensors or communications, while broadcasting Imperial propaganda or popular music, or white noise across all channels. Popular with Torchwood.

Nullwave: Carrying a compact Nullwave Device which detonates in a burst of purple-green light; this warhead inhibits the use of magic or psionic abilities for 1 hour after detonation in a five kilometer radius.

Foreign designs which sometimes see Imperial service:
Neurostatic Warhead: Rather than detonate, Neurostatic Warheads house large Neurostatic Emitters which activate when the MPMS-36, impacts a surface, attaching itself to the nearest surface and activating while deploying a shield to defend itself from incoming fire. Powerful devices mounted on many Technate vehicles, Neurostatic Emitters broadcast a variety of sounds and signals. It fills screens with static, sensors with false contacts, communication devices with feedback and horrible white noise. Biological organisms are bombarded by a cacophony of tinnitus and screeching howls. The brain is affected, resulting in neurological chaos as senses overload, eyes watering, ears roaring, an intense, incapacitating buzzing filling the heads of those afflicted, sending them to their knees, screaming in pain and shock. Evolved biomass writhes out of control, and is unable to properly maintain cohesion. Technate and allied forces are equipped with unique Technate hardware on their armor which interpret these signals and waves as popular music or a Mercerist hymn, rendering them immune to the incapacitating effects of the Emitters. This version of MPMS-36 is used primarily by Technate forces, though Torchwood has been known to employ them on their Prowlers, using them to incapacitate ship crews as the Emitters attach to enemy hulls.

Buzzers: A weapon system designed to demoralize enemy infantry, Buzzer Shells are actually more a submunition system. The body of the host MPMS-36 opens up, and a dozen sharp, serrated micro-missiles are deployed. These micro-missiles, more akin to self-propelled knives than a missile, are equipped with an ion engine and a malevolent micro-AI, designed to locate and target someone whose death would have maximum psychological effect on nearby troops. Upon locating a target, the micro-missile accelerates and then uses itself to kill the target in as messy, bloody, and gory way it can, typically by having multiple missiles rip through a body simultaneously while deploying barbed fins to rip up the body as they pass through. The missiles are not equipped with an explosive payload, and are sturdy enough to loop around and impact another target or the same target one more time before dissolving itself in a cloud of nanites. The Buzzers are named for the eerie buzzing sound they make as they approach their target.
The use of Buzzer munitions is avoided by the Empire, though they have occasionally been deployed against Redlight forces.

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