Status

Recent Statuses

13 days ago
Current happy birthday to freedom
2 likes
1 mo ago
Come on down to Myriad Reality and celebrate Pride month with us! The Bible tells us gays are icky! YAY
1 mo ago
"Please, no homosexual relationships or activities of the sort. It'd be easier for all of us if it's not mentioned at all without creating a huge ordeal" That's gonna be an OMEGA-YIKES from me dawg
13 likes
1 mo ago
why isn't the status bar exclusively used for sing alongs of Nickelback songs? we're really under-utilizing the technology we were gifted, folks
3 likes
2 mos ago
The only thing pettier than whining in the status bar is calling someone else petty for whining in the status bar. We're gettin' real meta right now
3 likes

Most Recent Posts

JOCKO SMASH

Boy, this sure is awkward.

I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed playing with you guys. You’re all great writers, and even though I struggled to keep up with the IC, I loved every post I read. Even outside of the IC thread, though, you’ve all been a fuckin riot. Some of ya’ll are funny as hell, and all of you have been a treat to just hang out with. It’s been a good time.

That said, however, I feel an obligation to be up front and honest with you all. I value this bunch of players too much to mince words or lie to them, and I hope they understand where I’m coming from when I say that I can’t continue with this game. Gowi is a good friend of mine, and despite his many flaws, I can’t in any way agree with or support the decision to remove him like this.

He did everything asked of him. He participated in the GMing process as much as I did, and he was more than willing to reconcile his differences with Wraith, and I feel that his treatment has been ludicrously unfair. With that in mind I will be stepping down as co-GM and removing myself from the game. I wish you all the best of luck going forward, and I hope I get the chance to write with you guys in the future.
hey wow thanks for shouting out my RP, Absolute Comics, random unbiased reporter. RPGN is my favorite news source on the Guild


In Transit | Old Harbor-Smith's Rest Tramway
January 16th, 2677

The tram was cramped, loud, stunk of dried urine and Demetrius couldn't decide which of those annoyed him the most. Whichever dumbass had designed the transport decided to shove twenty-eight seats into a box that could comfortably fit maybe fifteen passengers; if there were actually enough people there to fill every seat, Demi was confident he would've chucked himself out of the emergency exit half an hour into it. Thankfully there were only seven or so of them, but that was still five too many in his humble opinion.

Maybe it'd be more bearable if three seats down from him there wasn't a passed out drunkard that had soiled himself sometime since he got on the tram. The stench was bad enough, but then he had the audacity to start fucking snoring. Every time he drew in air through that fat nose of his, Demi felt a primal desire to smother him into silence.

'I need to finish this before I actually snap.' He thought, turning his attention back to the plastic and steel box he held in his palm. The front cover had been removed, revealing a mess of circuitry and wiring that it's creator had failed to organize in any reasonable way. It was such a haphazard design that Demi wasn't all that surprised it had just stopped working that morning when he stepped off the ship that had carried him from Vancouver to New Anchorage. Something about the bitter northern cold must've screwed with the internals, somehow.

Honestly, though, he couldn't blame the AutoBeat for not wanting to work in a freezing hellscape like this. 'And here I thought Scandinavia was bad. Christ.'

"You makin' any progress?" A familiar voice from just a seat over called, a slight, unintentional sing-songiness to it.

Demetrius didn't look away from his work when he answered Mara, focusing on soldering a new diode into the music player. "Mountains of it."

She let out a slight chuckle, sliding over from her chair into the one directly next t him. "Y'know, lil' brother, you could always talk to me to pass the time. Doubt you'll be done with that thing before we get to 'Rest anyway."

"I could, that's true," Demetrius slid a pair of safety goggles over his eyes and plucked a mini-torch and a handful of electronic parts out of his toolkit. It was probably a bad idea to do this kind of sensitive work on a train, but he was bored out of his mind and it kept his hands busy. "I won't. But I could."

Mara gave an exasperated sigh and slunk down where she sat, moving her arms up to rest behind her head. "You're a real dickhead sometimes, y'know that?"

"And you're a real airhead all the time. Nobody's perfect."

"It's just..." She sighed again, struggling to come up with the words that she wanted to use.

Demetrius could see that she was flipping her old Black Steel ID tags between her fingers out of the corner of his eye, and he mentally braced himself for a painful and awkward conversation that neither of them really wanted to have; it was necessary, probably, but that wouldn't make it any better in the moment.

"Just spit it out already. No use floundering over phrasing."

Mara shifted, her smile faltering somewhat. "It's just that, like, the two of us are on our own now. For the first time...ever, really." She spoke softly, her eyes shifted down toward the metal she held in her digits, her own name staring back up at her. "Nobody else we can rely on anymore 'cept each other. I figure that means we should probably learn to get along better, y'know? Learn how to talk to each other, and-"

The sound of a heavy guitar rift and the pounding of drums suddenly filled the cabin, thundering out so loudly that it even managed to wake up the passed out drunk. "Finally." Demi grinned and plugged his headset into the AutoBeat, cutting off the blaring music, much to the gratefulness of the two other passengers. "Sorry, what were you saying?"

She turned her head away from him, resting her cheek on the frost-covered glass of the tram's window. "...Nothing."

Demetrius shrugged and lifted his headset over his ears, grateful to have his music back.
Okay so when I was a kid there was a TV show I watched a shitton called Chaotic. It was based on a trading card game and I learned you could play that shit online for free on the TV show's website, but you needed to sign up for an account to play. This was the very first time I needed to make a username, and I decided to base it off the username a character in the show used- Kazdan "Kaz" Kalinkas (A.K.A. KidChaor).

I swapped out Chaor for his rival from the 'good' faction, Maxxor, but I was too fuckin cool to name myself kid anything and went with lord like the edgy 10 year old that I was. Thus my first username and the one I stuck with for a long ass time, Maxxorlord. Overtime that got shortened down to just Maxx. If I could do that as a standalone, I would, but there's a certain motherfucker that stole it so I had to slap an adjective in front of it: in this case, Comrade, because I'm a dirty Communist but ironically only sometimes tho #Bernie2020

So ye, my name's not actually Max, it's just a childhood username that I've used for so long that it's my regular ID now




Mara Solon | Icarus | F | 19 | Saxony, Germany

Personal Dossier

Physical Description
Mara spent her whole life as a soldier and that fact is burned into her very identity. Rigorous, daily training has resulted in her developing a fair bit of muscle and an athletic frame- though no amount of hard work can make her grow any taller than 5'7, unfortunately. She's been dragged into more than a few brawls in that time, leaving her with plenty of scars, both big and small. The most visible of these are the cut along her left cheek and the numerous, smaller abrasions that pepper her jawline, neck and upper body.

Her 'style,' if one could call it that, reflects on how military life has shaped her: she continues to wear the same grey Battle Dress Uniform, work boots and the fur-lined aviator's jacket that were all given to her by Black Steel back when she first became one of their pilots. She's since removed all their iconography, of course, and replaced them with an embroidering of Icarus's wings; after all, who would be dumb enough to continue to wear the colors of a group they turned their back on?

Personality Traits
Confident
Passionate
Empathetic
Gregarious

Aggressive
Impulsive
Possessive
Dependent

Psychological Effects of Polaris Shift
The Polaris Shift drastically warped Mara's natural aggression and impulsiveness, causing her to develop symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This disorder is characterized by frequent outbursts of anger and aggression, almost always disproportionate to the 'slight' that caused it. These outbursts become even worse when Solon is in the cockpit, morphing acts of violence into an almost relieving or intoxicating experience. Her symptoms appear to be worsening with time, and her previous methods of maintaining or seizing control over her emotional state are becoming less and less effective. Worse still, the release and pleasure she feels during these incidents seem to be growing more intense and addicting- and that fact terrifies her.

Personal History
Mara was always the more combative of the two Solon twins, even from the beginning preferring to solve her problems with her fists than her head. That aggression and bravado made her a shoe-in for soldiering, according to her superiors at Black Steel, and she started her training regime from an extraordinarily young age at the discretion of her father. They instilled within her a discipline and strong sense of duty, and gave the skills she'd need to eventually develop into the excellent pilot that she would one day become.

She was ecstatic when she learned she was NC compatible, and all but leapt into the first mecha they'd let her climb into. Piloting was easily the most thrilling experience she'd ever had, and Mara dedicated herself to being the best in the entire battalion. It was a goal she got closer and closer to as she grew, both as a person and as a pilot, her skill and maturity developing well in tandem with one another. Her fondness for the outfit grew as well- she fell in love with the sense of purpose and comradery that came with her service. She was meant for this; she was meant to be a soldier.

Her first few sorties gave solon a healthy dosage of reality, however, as she was forced to turn her guns on flesh and blood people for the first time. She was able to rationalize it, at first:

The other pilots she fought were out to kill her, too, so why shouldn't she kill them first?

Her outfit wouldn't be targeting them if they didn't have it coming- her commander was a good man.

Mom and dad were encouraging her to fight. That meant it had to be okay, right?

Slowly but surely she came to the realization that these were little more than excuses. The guilt she felt every time she watched another mecha fall continued to build and build until it was so heavy that Mara could no longer bear the weight. It forced her to start asking questions. It compelled her to confront the worst parts about herself, about the work she did for Black Steel, and whether or not she would be able to continue to serve under such conditions. These weren't questions that came to her easily or in a short amount of time, but rather had to be teased out, long term, all while she busied herself acting as little more than a glorified leg breaker for a monolithic, uncaring megacorporation for nothing more than a simple paycheck.

She attempted to bring these worries before her family, she tried to get them to understand why she was hesitant to fight for them, but all it resulted in were dozens of fights and arguments with her parents about what was really important in the world. They argued- vehemently- that all that really mattered was that they do what they needed to help each other, that they needed to be loyal to the battalion; the company had given them so much, and it was only right that they give back as much as they could. Mara wrestled with that idea for quite a long time before she was able to reject it completely.

From there she decided that she could no longer continue to work for Black Steel in good conscience, or any corporation for that matter. She wasn't sure where she could go to avoid the massive shadow they cast over the world, but she'd become convinced of the fact that working for such organizations was wrong, and that it was a great disservice to waste her skill on a cause she didn't believe in; that left her with the 'simple' task of finding a cause she could believe in.

Enter a recruitment ad she found for New Anchorage.

Tactical Preferences and Skills
Trained Professional: For all of it's faults, the Black Steel Battalion knew how to turn boys and girls into hardened soldiers. She developed a wide breadth of skills both during the initial training process as well as during her active service, including but not limited to: operating a firearm, basic CQC and hand to hand, survival in extreme environments, field medicine and equipment maintenance. All of this was packaged along with a healthy sense of discipline and the resolve to see the day through, regardless of the personal cost or difficulty involved.

Excellent Marksman: The primary area of expertise, the skill Mara has spent her entire life honing, is her marksmanship. She has an intuitive sense of range, projectile drop, standard deviation and how weather affects specific types of projectiles. Even without the assistance of her targeting computer, Mara's aim is impeccable, bordering on prodigious. This skill doesn't translate as well outside of the cockpit, since shooting a hand-held weapon and aiming the Icarus's gun are such diametrically different things, but she's practiced enough in gunplay to operate normal firearms at a competitive level.

Precision, Speed, Reconnaissance: Mara Solon's role in an engagement is to act as a forward operative with the goal of gathering strategic intel on enemy numbers, armament and movement while also engaging them from a safe distance. Icarus's highly mobile yet lightly armored frame requires that she be constantly vigilante in how she's positioned; if she stops moving for more than a few minutes she's liable to catch a bullet. Knowing the composition and capability of enemy combatants is vital for her success as a scout and as a marksman- the vulnerability of her particular machine means that she doesn't have the luxury of missteps.

Notes
Mara, like her brother, speaks with an accent, but unlike Demetrius it gets significantly thicker when she begins to lose her cool- at her angriest she has a habit of switching back to her native German without fully realizing it. She also never learned French.

Keeps a strict schedule to keep herself sane and in control, including daily meditation and long exercise regimes.

Theme

Neural Combatant

Codename
Icarus

Type

Squad Role
Scout Marksman

Description
Icarus is a Paragon manufactured, lightly armored NC designed specialized for the task of battlefield reconnaissance and eliminating high value/vulnerable targets from extended range. Standing at only seven meters tall and twenty five tons in weight, Icarus is one of the smallest and lightest NCs in its class. It's frame is streamlined to minimize drag and stripped of all but the lightest armored plating for maximum potential mobility. Originally Icarus featured a black and gunmetal grey paint-job to match the aesthetic of the rest of the Black Steel Battalion, but since leaving Mara has swapped it for a softer white and blue palette.

Equipment & Armaments
Light Beam Rifle (LBR): The Light Battery Rifle is Icarus's weapon of choice for engaging in long range engagements while still remaining consistently mobile. It uses a specialized system of mirrors to fire a powerful beam capable of piercing through thick armored plating to burn internal systems. A great degree of precision is required for it to actually be effective- each shot won't do much unless it's able to pass through something important, otherwise it's essentially just poking holes in a metal can. The LBR is a recoil-less, rapid fire style rifle that can fire off continuous bursts of energy beams for several minutes before the battery has to be replaced.

Plasma Knife: Close quarters is the last place Icarus wants to be, but there are times where Mara doesn't have any choice in the matter- in those moments she's always glad to have a secondary weapon on hand to defend herself with.

Directional Rockets and Jump Pack: The main source of Icarus's mobility are the jump pack and directional rockets installed on the NC's back and limbs, respectively. Its jump pack allows the NC to reach otherwise inaccessible strategic positions, while the directional rockets focus more on improving strafing and letting Icarus run circles around enemy mechs.

Advanced Sensor Suite: Icarus possesses a wide array of electronic detection equipment including Radar, LiDAR, and thermal imaging. On top of these reconnaissance tools it has an entire electronic warfare suite for the purpose of disrupting enemy communication and obscuring their ability to track Icarus's squadron mates. These systems are constantly being tweaked and upgraded personally by Mara's twin, Demetrius, keeping their tech one step ahead of rival organizations.




Demetrius "Demi" Solon | Knight | M | 19 | Saxony, Germany

Personal Dossier

Physical Description
Demetrius is rather plain and unassuming by all accounts. He's short in stature for someone his age at only 5'6, and he tries his best to hide his wiry frame; partially out of insecurity and partially because it keeps attention off of him. Demi does this by wearing baggy clothing like oversized shirts, jackets and work jumpsuits- one of the many signs that he doesn't care much about maintaining his appearance. Other signs include his unkempt and shaggy mane of hair, tendency to hunch his shoulders and slouch every time he sits, and the uninterrupted presence of dark bags under his eyes.

Personality Traits
Rational
Honest
Disciplined
Reflective

Nihilistic
Cynical
Anxious
Suspicious
Obsessive


Psychological Effects of Polaris Shift
Ever since he first achieved Perfect Synchronization, Demetrius has suffered regularly from mood swings, bouts of anxiety, and depression. He regularly takes medication in an attempt to stem these, but finds that the side effects of mental sluggishness and physical fatigue impair his abilities as an engineer and a pilot. This leads to stretches of time where he'll ignore his prescription so he can stay 'sharp,' only to end up spiraling into nihilistic despair until someone shoves a pill down his throat.

Personal History
Demetrius and Mara were born to be mercenaries, literally. Their parents were members of a defense contracting company called the 'Black Steel Battalion.' The outfit, while technically independent, worked exclusively for Paragon and its subsidiary companies, breaking legs and intimidating smaller settlements into accepting the generous contracts they were being offered by the megacorporation but were refusing to sign. It was bloody business, and both Demi and Mara were stooped in it from the start. Both of them pulled their weight around camp from the moment they could walk, and while Mara was more interested in combat roles like their father, Demetrius took to engineering like a moth to the flame.

He spent practically every moment of his early life watching the mechanics take apart and repair mechs, bombarding them with questions with every breath and volunteering for any kind of work that got him close to those titanic war machines. It seemed to be the only thing he was interested in- the only thing that made him genuinely happy. And he was good at it, too; his intense fascination and willingness to learn allowed him to excel in a difficult field where many others had failed.

He was more than a little conflicted when he found out that he tested positive for Neural Combatant compatibility and was told he'd be fighting on the front lines in his own mech. It gave him a newfound appreciation for the machines he'd been working on for his early life, of course, but it also meant he'd be spending more time fighting in NCs than fixing them.

The next several years of Demi's life were exceedingly frustrating for him. He got very little satisfaction out of the act of piloting, but the battalion required that he do it- he had better sync rates with the Reichsritter than anyone else in the outfit, God knows why, and they believed he was far more useful here than in the gear pits. To make matters even worse, he achieved Perfect Synchronization during this time, and ended up developing several disorders that would follow him for the rest of his life. He felt trapped by the demands of those around him- trapped by the constant pressure to do what was best for the company, for the family, to ignore his own needs and wants.

So when Mara came to him and poured out her own issues and suggested that they leave, Demetrius was more than happy to oblige. The two of them spent nearly a month combing through their contracts with Black Steel until they found a clause that they could use to make it void without sacrificing their most important assets: their NCs. After managing to secure their independence, the duo began their year-long journey from central Europe over to Mara's chosen destination: New Anchorage.

Tactical Preferences and Skills
Prodigious Engineer: Demi has spent his whole life around NCs, and practically grew up with a wrench in his hand. It's one of the few things he's truly passionate about, so it's no wonder that he's dedicated countless hours to mastering his craft. There isn't a problem with his mech, or anyone else's for that matter, that he can't fix on his own provided he has the tools and the time to do so. The only area where he still has some room to grow is in his coding, as he enjoys the act of working with his hands far more than he does the minutia of computer work; still, he can do it, and he can do it quite well.

Competent Pilot: While no master of war by any means, Demetrius still has a good deal of experience operating the Knight in combat situations. He can hold his own in an NC fight, especially when he has a reliable squad that he can depend on to watch his back and cover for the few blindspots in his skill set.

Danger-Close Fire Support: Thanks to the massive size and particular armament of the Reichsritter, Demetrius's role in any given squad is to act as a mobile fire support platform. He aids his squadmates by providing suppressing fire on enemy positions and mechas, forcing them to shift their full attention to Demetrius and his heavy weapon fire while his squadmates rapidly advance and assault the enemy position. He acts in a similar role during defensive operations or retreats, generally trying to slow the enemy down via sustained ordnance and force them to engage him- the Knight's heavily armored body and (optional) combat shield attachment allow it to take several magnitudes more hits than a faster but more lightly armored assault NC.

Notes
Demi speaks with a slight German accent and is fluent in three languages: German, his first language, English and French.

Is very protective of his tools. Will only share them with people he really trusts.

Works best when he can block out background noise, usually using heavier rock music for that purpose.

Theme
Neural Combatant

Codename
Knight (English translation); Reichsritter (Original German)

Type
Heavy Bipedal

Squad Role
Support

Description
The Reichsritter is a behemoth of a mech at nineteen meters in height and over eighty tons in weight. Packed to the brim with layers of armored plating, the Knight's most notable attribute is it's ability to take an insane amount of punishment and keep going. It rarely wavers under enemy fire, advancing through everything thrown at it to launch back a fierce counteract using the Thermal Rotary Cannon (TRC-11) attached to its right arm. It's left arm remains free to allow for a level of versatility in it's loadout- depending on the situation it can either equip another offensive weapon for maximum damage potential or a defensive tool to make the mecha even tougher than normal.

Originally manufactured by Paragon and purchased by the Black Steel Battalion, the NC was thought to be somewhat sluggish, and it's previous pilot often complained that the TRC-11 chewed through battery packs and heat sinks far too quickly. Demi was able to modify the cannon to be 200% more efficient at the low cost of a slower rate of fire. Other modifications include longer barrels for increased effective range, an 'elbow-locking' function for more stability during sustained fire, and an improved target identification algorithm. It's 'sluggishness' was harder, though, and required that Demetrius remove the shoulder-mounted missile launchers to drop the tonnage on the upper body down to more manageable levels.

Equipment & Armaments
Thermal Rotary Cannon-11: The Reichsritter's primary weapon, the Thermal Rotary Cannon is an arm-mounted, high capacity support weapon. It can put out six hundred rounds of thermal ammunition in a minute at an effective range of fifteen hundred meters. It can generally get around two hundred rounds out of a single battery pack before it has to be replaced; it's advanced heat sinks can handle roughly two minutes of sustained, fully automatic fire before they either need to be swapped out or given a cooldown period of five minutes. It isn't recommended that the TRC-11 be pushed after it reaches it's max heat, unless the pilot wants to risk the weapon cooking its internal systems until they're unsalvageable.

Reinforced Combat Shield: A rather large piece of specially made armor that can cover the main torso, legs and head of the Knight when placed in front of it, the combat shield is an optional piece of equipment that dramatically increases the survivability and toughness of the mecha. Destroying or damaging the shield with small arms fire is nearly impossible, and even heavy ordinance would need to repeatedly bombard a specific piece of it before the armor would crumple. The easiest counter would of course be to target the Reichritter's exposed limbs, or to launch Area of Effect munitions to simply ignore the RCS.

Shoulder-Mounted Hellfire Launchers: Originally standard issue on the Knight, the Hellfire Launchers were a pair of missile racks that jutted out of each of the NC's shoulders. They had two primary modes of use: either as a 'dumb fire' artillery to blanket an area in explosions or in a 'lock-on' state that would track enemy aircraft and mechas after they'd managed to lock on to their target. While both forms were generally useful, Solon had them removed as they made the NC quite top heavy and awkward. He left enough of the system behind in both shoulders that they could potentially be reinstalled with a little bit of time and elbow grease.
Hey, everyone. I have been gone for the past three days due to the earthquakes that hit California. Long story short, my house (a mobile home built in the 70s) collapsed during the 7.1 earthquake. Nobody, besides me, was inside the house when it collapsed. Besides being shaken up, I wasn't injured during the shaking. My family was also fine. Once the quakes ended and we settled at my sister's boyfriend's house, I posted small updates to the discord server because I wasn't going to have internet for long. Then, we moved into another mobile home that survived the quakes thanks to its earthquake bracing system. I plan on posting short updates Now with that out of the way, I have an announcement regarding the future on this site.

I have decided to stay on. To be honest, being on here and writing is one of the things that's going help me get through my current situation. So, Wonder Woman is here to stay! I will be catching up on the IC later on this day. So, it feels good to be back.


Glad to know you're okay, buddy, and that you'll be sticking with us. Hope that your situation improves for you, 'cause it sounds like shit really sucks right now.




Mara Solon | Icarus | F | 19 | Saxony, Germany

Personal Dossier

Physical Description
Mara spent her whole life as a soldier and that fact is burned into her very identity. Rigorous, daily training has resulted in her developing a fair bit of muscle and an athletic frame- though no amount of hard work can make her grow any taller than 5'7, unfortunately. She's been dragged into more than a few brawls in that time, leaving her with plenty of scars, both big and small. The most visible of these are the cut along her left cheek and the numerous, smaller abrasions that pepper her jawline, neck and upper body.

Her 'style,' if one could call it that, reflects on how military life has shaped her: she continues to wear the same grey Battle Dress Uniform, work boots and the fur-lined aviator's jacket that were all given to her by Black Steel back when she first became one of their pilots. She's since removed all their iconography, of course, and replaced them with an embroidering of Icarus's wings; after all, who would be dumb enough to continue to wear the colors of a group they turned their back on?

Personality Traits
Confident
Passionate
Empathetic
Gregarious

Aggressive
Impulsive
Possessive
Dependent

Psychological Effects of Polaris Shift
The Polaris Shift drastically warped Mara's natural aggression and impulsiveness, causing her to develop symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This disorder is characterized by frequent outbursts of anger and aggression, almost always disproportionate to the 'slight' that caused it. These outbursts become even worse when Solon is in the cockpit, morphing acts of violence into an almost relieving or intoxicating experience. Her symptoms appear to be worsening with time, and her previous methods of maintaining or seizing control over her emotional state are becoming less and less effective. Worse still, the release and pleasure she feels during these incidents seem to be growing more intense and addicting- and that fact terrifies her.

Personal History
Mara was always the more combative of the two Solon twins, even from the beginning preferring to solve her problems with her fists than her head. That aggression and bravado made her a shoe-in for soldiering, according to her superiors at Black Steel, and she started her training regime from an extraordinarily young age at the discretion of her father. They instilled within her a discipline and strong sense of duty, and gave the skills she'd need to eventually develop into the excellent pilot that she would one day become.

She was ecstatic when she learned she was NC compatible, and all but leapt into the first mecha they'd let her climb into. Piloting was easily the most thrilling experience she'd ever had, and Mara dedicated herself to being the best in the entire battalion. It was a goal she got closer and closer to as she grew, both as a person and as a pilot, her skill and maturity developing well in tandem with one another. Her fondness for the outfit grew as well- she fell in love with the sense of purpose and comradery that came with her service. She was meant for this; she was meant to be a soldier.

Her first few sorties gave solon a healthy dosage of reality, however, as she was forced to turn her guns on flesh and blood people for the first time. She was able to rationalize it, at first:

The other pilots she fought were out to kill her, too, so why shouldn't she kill them first?

Her outfit wouldn't be targeting them if they didn't have it coming- her commander was a good man.

Mom and dad were encouraging her to fight. That meant it had to be okay, right?

Slowly but surely she came to the realization that these were little more than excuses. The guilt she felt every time she watched another mecha fall continued to build and build until it was so heavy that Mara could no longer bear the weight. It forced her to start asking questions. It compelled her to confront the worst parts about herself, about the work she did for Black Steel, and whether or not she would be able to continue to serve under such conditions. These weren't questions that came to her easily or in a short amount of time, but rather had to be teased out, long term, all while she busied herself acting as little more than a glorified leg breaker for a monolithic, uncaring megacorporation for nothing more than a simple paycheck.

She attempted to bring these worries before her family, she tried to get them to understand why she was hesitant to fight for them, but all it resulted in were dozens of fights and arguments with her parents about what was really important in the world. They argued- vehemently- that all that really mattered was that they do what they needed to help each other, that they needed to be loyal to the battalion; the company had given them so much, and it was only right that they give back as much as they could. Mara wrestled with that idea for quite a long time before she was able to reject it completely.

From there she decided that she could no longer continue to work for Black Steel in good conscience, or any corporation for that matter. She wasn't sure where she could go to avoid the massive shadow they cast over the world, but she'd become convinced of the fact that working for such organizations was wrong, and that it was a great disservice to waste her skill on a cause she didn't believe in; that left her with the 'simple' task of finding a cause she could believe in.

Enter a recruitment ad she found for New Anchorage.

Tactical Preferences and Skills
Trained Professional: For all of it's faults, the Black Steel Battalion knew how to turn boys and girls into hardened soldiers. She developed a wide breadth of skills both during the initial training process as well as during her active service, including but not limited to: operating a firearm, basic CQC and hand to hand, survival in extreme environments, field medicine and equipment maintenance. All of this was packaged along with a healthy sense of discipline and the resolve to see the day through, regardless of the personal cost or difficulty involved.

Excellent Marksman: The primary area of expertise, the skill Mara has spent her entire life honing, is her marksmanship. She has an intuitive sense of range, projectile drop, standard deviation and how weather affects specific types of projectiles. Even without the assistance of her targeting computer, Mara's aim is impeccable, bordering on prodigious. This skill doesn't translate as well outside of the cockpit, since shooting a hand-held weapon and aiming the Icarus's gun are such diametrically different things, but she's practiced enough in gunplay to operate normal firearms at a competitive level.

Precision, Speed, Reconnaissance: Mara Solon's role in an engagement is to act as a forward operative with the goal of gathering strategic intel on enemy numbers, armament and movement while also engaging them from a safe distance. Icarus's highly mobile yet lightly armored frame requires that she be constantly vigilante in how she's positioned; if she stops moving for more than a few minutes she's liable to catch a bullet. Knowing the composition and capability of enemy combatants is vital for her success as a scout and as a marksman- the vulnerability of her particular machine means that she doesn't have the luxury of missteps.

Notes
Mara, like her brother, speaks with an accent, but unlike Demetrius it gets significantly thicker when she begins to lose her cool- at her angriest she has a habit of switching back to her native German without fully realizing it. She also never learned French.

Keeps a strict schedule to keep herself sane and in control, including daily meditation and long exercise regimes.

Theme

Neural Combatant

Codename
Icarus

Type

Squad Role
Scout Marksman

Description
Icarus is a Paragon manufactured, lightly armored NC designed specialized for the task of battlefield reconnaissance and eliminating high value/vulnerable targets from extended range. Standing at only seven meters tall and twenty five tons in weight, Icarus is one of the smallest and lightest NCs in its class. It's frame is streamlined to minimize drag and stripped of all but the lightest armored plating for maximum potential mobility. Originally Icarus featured a black and gunmetal grey paint-job to match the aesthetic of the rest of the Black Steel Battalion, but since leaving Mara has swapped it for a softer white and blue palette.

Equipment & Armaments
Light Beam Rifle (LBR): The Light Battery Rifle is Icarus's weapon of choice for engaging in long range engagements while still remaining consistently mobile. It uses a specialized system of mirrors to fire a powerful beam capable of piercing through thick armored plating to burn internal systems. A great degree of precision is required for it to actually be effective- each shot won't do much unless it's able to pass through something important, otherwise it's essentially just poking holes in a metal can. The LBR is a recoil-less, rapid fire style rifle that can fire off continuous bursts of energy beams for several minutes before the battery has to be replaced.

Plasma Knife: Close quarters is the last place Icarus wants to be, but there are times where Mara doesn't have any choice in the matter- in those moments she's always glad to have a secondary weapon on hand to defend herself with.

Directional Rockets and Jump Pack: The main source of Icarus's mobility are the jump pack and directional rockets installed on the NC's back and limbs, respectively. Its jump pack allows the NC to reach otherwise inaccessible strategic positions, while the directional rockets focus more on improving strafing and letting Icarus run circles around enemy mechs.

Advanced Sensor Suite: Icarus possesses a wide array of electronic detection equipment including Radar, LiDAR, and thermal imaging. On top of these reconnaissance tools it has an entire electronic warfare suite for the purpose of disrupting enemy communication and obscuring their ability to track Icarus's squadron mates. These systems are constantly being tweaked and upgraded personally by Mara's twin, Demetrius, keeping their tech one step ahead of rival organizations.

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