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design by Kyle Platte
Nebula Award Winner
The Reaver battledress was the standard Imperial heavy battledress, used by Imperial Marines and several other elite units. In the final days of the Third Imperium it was one of the preeminent symbols of Imperial power -- and oppression. The Reaver is a massive`, bulky suit designed to provide heavy protection and limited autonomy from support lines. The suits were designed to perform the tasks dictated to Marines of the day: boarding actions, orbital drop and starport securing attacks. Its intimidating size and strength also helped in the Marines' unofficial job of suppressing discontent. The armor will support its operator for 96 hours before requiring maintenance or power. The Reaver does not carry any internal weapons, leaving weapon load to individual and unit preference. In addition, the basic suit carries only limited sensors and communications gear. A large "Battle Pak" is normally fitted to the suit, which greatly increases its functionality. The Battle Pak is listed below the description of the armor.
All of the suit's systems are ruggedized for combat and will function without maintenance for at least the four-day operational period.
The suit is comprised of two layers: the heavy powered external armor, and a lighter armored skinsuit underneath. The skinsuit is made of ballistic weave integrated with a solid-state cooling system. It skinsuit also incorporates a load-support harness and all the couplings for joining to the outer shell and life-support. The suit covers the entire body except the face and acts as a self-sealing vacc suit when coupled with a facemask/helmet and PLSS. The skinsuit, if worn alone, has an armor value of 1. The outer shell is built around a powered skeleton encased by BSD plates. The suit's power, life support and electronics are all fitted in the outer shell. When sealed, the outer shell forms a second airtight layer.
The armor incorporates an advanced PLSS that provides a comfortable operating environment in a wide variety of conditions. The PLSS includes air tanks for the full 96 hours but also allows for filtered breathing to conserve onboard supplies. The suit can be recharged and resupplied while the operator is inside without requiring the seals to be broken.
The suit's radio operates in frequency-agile bursts, transmitting brief pulses rather that remaining on an open line. This saves power and makes radio traffic more difficult to detect and intercept. However, it prevents the continuous stream of data needed for live targeting and real-time tactical displays. Such options can be performed (see below) at the expense of battery life.
The suit has power to operate the actuators, life support and internal electronics for 96 hours. The suit's functions are controlled by an integral fibre-optic computer equivalent to a hand-computer. It incorporates an inertial tracker and can communicate with other suits and base stations to generate tactical maps for the wearer. When used in combat, it will allow for real-time locations of allied forces to be displayed in the helmet, although this puts a serious strain on the radio's batteries. The computer can also accept data through IGS positions satellites to determine the suit's location. Attached to the computer is a basic medical system that monitors the wearer's vital signs and will inject a variety of drugs on command. The medical system will automatically inject drugs in an attempt to resuscitate a target, but it has no other diagnostic abilities. Drugs can also be keyed externally through a keypad on the right arm.
The second system incorporates a 10km PEMS to allow the operator some basic observational skills. In addition, the Battle Pak can be detached and left separately as a remote sensor. It will transmit sensor data via radio, allowing units to form a sensor perimeter with its Battle Paks. The Pak can also be combined with remote-detonated mines and guided missiles to act as an automated ambusher. The on-board computer handles the sensor data and can be programmed with a variety of target priorities for its use as a remote sentry. The radio operates in the same frequency-agile burst mode as the suit radio. The unit also incorporates a small area jammer to defend against enemy sensors. The sensors, jammer and radio will operate for 12 hours continuously before running