by Max Barry

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by The Infinite Empire of Cybus1. . 50 reads.

The Imperial Marines

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 artillery, 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.

Unique Marine Vehicles:

Delta Class Lander
Length: 1,000 meters
Armament: 1 Artonic Cannon, 150 missile pods, 50 Hardlight Cannons, 15 150mm cannons

The Delta Class Lander is a new vessel produced by Colossus Defense Engineering which focuses on one thing: Conquering a planet. The very bulky Delta is lightly armed for its size, most of its size devoted to storing troops and vehicles. It is armed with 1 Artonic Cannon for anti-ship duty, but most of its armaments are either on the spine or the ventral side of the ship. 150 missile pods on the spine allow the Delta to support troops with missile fire upon request, while 50 Hardlight Cannons on the ventral side of the ship allow it to hover and support the troops with highly accurate energy weapons bombardment from the upper atmosphere. When the vessel lands, these are retracted into the hull. In addition, on the spine there are also 15 dual retractable 150mm cannons, allowing it to provide artillery support when landed.
The Delta houses 5,000 troops or droids within its hull, along with tanks, walkers, utility vehicles, and up to 100 small craft, most of them dropships to transport vehicles and infantry. Upon landing, if feasible, the Delta will burrow into the ground and leave only part of the ship exposed, while the crew begins making subterranean base and tunnels connecting other bases together, acting as bases for their embarked units. The Delta is equipped with heavy armor all over the ship, over 50 feet of ACE armor layered between 25 feet of ERA armor. Unlike most Imperial vessels, the Delta is not decorated and is very spartan in the interior, maximizing the number of troops it can fit in its bulky and slow space frame. It is best deployed after orbital superiority has already been achieved, and after a potential landing site has been softened up by bombardment from the guns and missiles of the Delta or other warships, and bombing runs.

Volcra Class Assault Dropship
Armament: 1 Dark Matter Gatling, 1 Dark Matter Cannon, 4 seven-barreled missile pods, 2 Quad Dark Matter Auto-Repeaters, 3 door guns, 4 automatic grenade launchers

A unique dropship intended for Marine service, the Volcra, named for a species of Blacklight infected corvid, is designed to be a tough and heavily armed vehicle capable of landing troops and providing heavy battlefield support as a gunship.
To this end, the Volcra has a chin-mounted Dark Matter Gatling, the six barrels arrayed around a more powerful anti-armor Dark Matter Cannon, to handle both infantry and armored vehicles, while two stub wings mount four missile pods, each housing seven missiles each. There are no less than three door guns, one on each side and one at the rear, to allow infantry to assist in clearing the landing zone. Mounted in two retractable ball turrets atop and under the troop compartment are 2 Quad Dark Matter Auto-Repeaters, allowing the Volcra to engage targets from all angles and engage fighters pursuing the craft. Finally, as the craft descends into a hostile landing zone, the Volcra has four small automatic grenade launchers locked into a downward position, to fire a number of payloads to clear out a landing zone.
The Volcra can carry up to twenty infantry or humanoid droids, or 4 RobCo Vanguard Class Sentry Bots, or a single armored vehicle, kept within the cargo bay at the expense of any infantry, rather than carry it externally like the Crow. The Volcra has three engines, two mounted on part of the wings, close to the body, and the third just behind and above the troop compartment, in a manner similar to the tail rotor of a helicopter. This third engine is heavily protected, but swivels to face downward during landings, which also has the benefit of kicking up dust without injuring troops, obscuring their exit.
The Volcra is heavily armored with 3 feet of ACE armor sandwiched between and behind two 1 foot thick layers of ERA armor, and has three shield generators, as well as three point-defense beams to shoot down missiles and rockets.

Osprey Class Dropship
Armament: 8 Hardlight Auto-Repeaters

In sharp contrast to the small, sleek Crow dropship, the Osprey is a massive craft. It has a huge airframe, and no less than eight engines in four pairs of two along the hull, two sets at the front and two at the rear. The vessel’s huge cargo bay can hold up to four tanks or other armored vehicles and ten soldiers, or five tanks without any supporting infantry, or fifty infantry without any vehicles. Primarily used by the Imperial Marines, Ospreys are meant for heavy drop operations and supplying armored vehicles. Ospreys are lightly armed in their base configuration, armed simply with four Hardlight Auto-Repeaters in two ball turrets, one in the center of the top of the cargo area, one in a ball turret under the cockpit. Despite the light armament, the Osprey is very heavily armored, with no less than five feet of ACE and ERA armor layers, four shield generators, and four point-defense beams to ensure its cargo reaches the combat zone safely. The Osprey is slow and hard to maneuver, but it is almost guaranteed to reach it’s LZ with cargo intact, and can operate with as many as four engines out of action, and even if all are destroyed, there are countless stories of Ospreys being shot down, only for their intact tanks to shock the enemy, who had not anticipated anything surviving. Due to this, Marine pilots call often call Ospreys “Flying Bricks”.
Ospreys are used almost exclusively by the Imperial Marine Corps, though the Army sometimes uses them for the delivery of large cargo to bases.

Rook Class IFV
Armament: 1 Dark Matter Cannon, 1 co-axial Dark Matter Auto-Repeater, 1 Dark Matter Gatling, 4 vertical launch missile tubes, 3 automatic Striker grenade launchers

The Rook Class IFV is the standard Infantry Fighting Vehicle of the Imperial Marines. Rather than use the Crusader Class Assault Striker, the Rook is more heavily armed and armored, at the cost of speed and troop capacity. The Marines considered this an acceptable trade-off, as the Rook carries only one less fire-team than the Crusader.
The turret houses a Dark Matter Cannon, a co-axial Dark Matter Auto-Repeater. and a Dark Matter Gatling (a six-barelled Auto-Repeater version, mounted atop the turret and controlled by an AI, capable of shooting down missiles and terminating infantry and light vehicles), as well as four vertical launch missile tubes mounted in the rear of the turret.
The Rook can hold up to twenty soldiers or humanoid droids, or four Imperial Fire-Teams. There are ten firing ports to allow a number of the passengers to fire out. To cover troops exiting the Rook, there are three grenade launchers which automatically fire grenades, a mix of explosive to clear the area and Smoxin to screen their exit through the rear door. These launchers can also be operated by the AI to engage other targets, and are essentially the same as the standard 40mm Striker grenade launcher used by infantry.
The Rook features 2.5 feet each of ACE and ERA armor, a trio of shield generators, and a pair of point-defense Hardlight beams to intercept incoming munitions. It can reach speeds of up to 75 MPH, 25 miles slower than the Crusader, but the Marines consider the increased armor worth the slower speed.

Linebreaker Class Heavy Assault Transport
Armament: 6 Dark Matter Gatlings, 2 five-barrel missile tubes, 8 Striker Grenade Launchers, 6 60mm Balvorn mortars, 2 Duel Hardlight Auto-Repeaters

The Linebreaker is a vehicle unique to the Imperial Marines, and is a massive infantry fighting vehicle intended to break through enemy lines and disgorge troops. The enormous vehicle is fully amphibious, and has a huge armored plow on the front to detonate mines and slam through fortifications. This plow also allows the Linebreaker to effortlessly cut through the water. Above and on either side of this plow are a pair of small ‘decks’ on which two of the six Dark Matter Gatlings are mounted, remotely operated or controlled by an AI, to protect the disembarking troops and mow down what the heavier weapons flush out. In the center of the six barrels of the weapons a single automatic Striker grenade launcher is mounted as well. The other four Gatlings and Strikers are mounted slightly above them, on either side of the missile tubes and behind the mortars, respectively, giving the Gatlings a nearly 360 degree field of fire. Behind the cargo bay, there are a pair of five-barreled vertical launch missile tubes to engage aircraft and heavy armor. Finally, behind the missile tubes, there are no less than six 60mm Balvorn mortars, each of which can independently track and engage armored targets or pound infantry into submission with their course-correcting jet-assisted shells. When not in use, they retract and are covered by a landing pad which can support a pair of small craft, often a pair of Raider Class Gunships. Finally, a pair of sponson-mounted Duel Hardlight Auto-Repeaters and another pair of automatic Strikers scythe down targets which the Gatlings/Strikers cannot target effectively due to their position.
Upon breaching fortifications, the armored plow splits open, the top half of which folds upwards to protect the troops from artillery or gunships, which the lower half folds downward to form a ramp. Just inside the cargo area is a one-way shield to protect the interior of the Linebreaker and its occupants from harm as they prepare to storm out. The Linebreaker has room for up to 55 soldiers within, 11 Imperial fireteams, while also having room for up to two Courser Class Utility Vehicles or a single Knight Class Tank, as well up to 5 RobCo Vanguard Sentry Bots or 15 RobCo Legionnaire Droids or Assaultrons. This incredible load, in addition to the pair of gunships, makes the Linebreaker worthy of its name. The Linebreaker could also carry multiple tanks, though this would require sacrificing part of its infantry to droid capacity.
Being such an important asset, the Linebreaker is very heavily defended, with ten feet of ACE and ERA armor layers, 5 feet each, sandwiched together. There are no less than four shield generators, so that if one fails, there are still three other shields to contend with. There are no less than nine point-defense Hardlight beam weapons mounted to provide 360 degree coverage of the Linebreaker, even capable of engaging torpedos fired when the Linebreaker is crossing oceans. The Linebreaker is surprisingly fast for its incredible size, capable of reaching up to 70 MPH, which has surprised enemy defenders before, imagining the huge landships to be slow and lumbering.
Linebreakers operate alongside their smaller Rook IFV cousins, as well as huge ‘packs’ of Courser Utility Vehicles to engage aircraft and infantry, while Knight Tanks engage armored threats as the Linebreaker provides close-in fire support via its mortars. Linebreakers are deployed directly from the carrying vessel, dropped onto a planets surface once the vessel has breached a planets outer atmosphere, the descent slowed with rockets and anti-gravity drives which break away upon impact on the surface.

The Valkyrie Class Battlesuit is an Imperial design intended to be an equivalent to Sterkian Mobile Suits. Like most Cybusian designs, it is a fast, maneuverable, and multi-purpose design, capable of engaging all manner of targets. It is more easily comparable to an oversized suit of power armor than a mecha.
In the left arm, there is a Dark Matter Cannon, which, while not able to destroy ships, can certainly obliterate small craft or destroy equipment and weapons on larger vessels. The right arm bears a pair of Dark Matter Auto-Repeaters to engage infantry and small craft. The left shoulder bears a Gatling Laser capable of tracking and engaging targets independently of the suit, while the right shoulder supports a rapid-fire missile pod which emerges from the back of the armor. Finally, there are two retractable Hardlight blades on the arms.
The Valkyrie is armored with 2.5 feet of ACE armor and 1.5 feet of ERA armor, protected by three shield generators. The Valkyrie, unlike its Sterkian counterpart, has a wide array of advanced sensors, a communications array, and an onboard AI. The Valkyrie has yet to receive its baptism of fire.

Imperial Marine Pathfinder Corps:
A specially trained and equipped Imperial Marine group, members of the Pathfinder Corps are meant to scout ahead of the main force, identifying targets, designating targets for orbital strikes, air strikes, or artillery bombardment, sniping targets, or otherwise engaging targets of opportunity.
Pathfinders are known for their unique armor system. They have a power armor which emphasizes reliability and durability, more closely resembling body armor than power armor. It has two thin layers of ACE armor sandwiched over a layer of ERA armor, and a shield generator. The helmet has a pair of viewports which are laden with sensors, and a rugged, somewhat gas mask like appearance. In addition, Pathfinders are often equipped with an armored duster with a layer of shieldwave and two layers of corecloth, both often used in Torchwood suits and trenchcoats. In addition, these dusters are equipped with a unique feature rarely seen outside of Torchwood; an active camouflage system. This allows the user to engage targets or conduct recon without being discovered.
Pathfinders are often equipped with the hard-hitting Terminator Sniper Rifle, which is more akin to an anti-material rifle or small cannon, firing a variable payload 20mm shell encased in Hardlight or a bolt of Hardlight for less durable foes, or the Seeker Guided Rifle which fires a 14.5mm round encased in Hardlight, which can be remotely guided by the onboard computers or the user. For more common foes, Pathfinders can use their Blacklight abilities, or a Storm Hardlight Auto-Repeater. Pathfinders are also equipped with Surge grenades to temporarily disable vehicles, should they find themselves in a sticky situation, giving them time to activate their active camo systems and escape.
Pathfinders are equipped with a fabricator unit to create food and drink and grenades, and a heavily encrypted communications suite. Their helmets can highlight targets on the Imperial Battlenet for all units and designate targets for various types of strikes from other units, such as artillery, or air or orbital strikes. They often operate in conjunction with military-grade Eyebots modified with devices capable of briefly cloaking them from sensors, and some even modify them and consider them to be close companions. Pathfinders also often operate in conjunction with Delta Class Landers which hover in the upper atmosphere, marking targets for precision fire with their ventral energy weapons batteries or strikes from their missile batteries or their complement of 155mm cannons they deploy when on the ground.
A task force developed by the Imperial Marines, Blackwatch is an attempt at creating a force capable of achieving results similar to Torchwood Kill-Teams, but on a larger scale and with greater availability since Kill-Teams are in short supply. The brainchild of High Consul Alexander Vosch, Blackwatch members are highly trained, going far beyond the already rigorous Marine training, and are even more disciplined and efficient. They have access to more advanced equipment, armor, and have even created their own (inferior) version of active camo technology. Blackwatch units are deployed to infiltrate enemy lines and destroy targets of opportunity or enemy leaders, but are equally at home acting as stormtroopers, using their superior training and weapons to sweep aside heavy enemy resistance. Blackwatch units are also used to combat Redlight forms, Drakul infestations, and act as honor guards for High Consul Vosch. They have so impressed Torchwood that they are sometimes requested to serve as support units when hunting down abnormal foes (Runners, Ancients, cults, etc).
Blackwatch troops are characterized by their all-black power armor, which is equipped with stronger shields, lighter yet stronger armor, and a form of active camouflage. The Blackwatch active camo allows the wearer of the armor to vanish from sensors and from the naked eye, but unlike Torchwood armor, cannot visually compensate for the space occupied by the armor (for example in the rain, a Torchwood power armor would successfully mimic the rain, whereas the Blackwatch armor cannot, and there would a place where the rain stopped midair because it was hitting the armor.). They have access to Dark Matter infantry weapons, typically kept for Torchwood use, which are much harder-hitting than Hardlight weaponry. Blackwatch units are composed largely of Evolved, though some are Orsonians, trained to activate Rage States on command during combat should the need arise.

The Infinite Empire of Cybus1