Engineer, AW Test Pilot (Second Lieutenant)Appearance: Personality:
Simultaneously scattered and possessing a will of singular focus. Friendly enough, but somewhat less than formal. Though in the military, Ben isn’t much of a military man per se; the military is a means to his work, rather than the end itself. Occasionally juuust skirting around the edges of reprimand for lack of appropriate formality, but aware enough to toe the line. Despite his eccentricities, Ben is an extremely skilled, albeit unorthodox, engineer. He is possessed of the irreverence of a man that has not yet been reminded he is not immortal, and as such tends to take certain risks with the engineering of his own machine that he would not take with anyone else’s. With anyone else’s Walker he takes the utmost of care, treating it as a point of pride that his work should be second to none. If misfortune befalls their Walker, it will not be because of his work.
With his own he is somewhat more… Liberal. Safety regulations are more like guidelines. Though he still receives the occasional rap on the knuckles, he has flourished since being assigned to Test Team 4. He still isn’t a model soldier, but his respect for his new CO keeps him in line more than it doesn’t. With the resources of the R&D division to play with, he’s much more content than before. Granted his sleeping habits remain eccentric in the extreme, mostly due to their apparent lack
. Ben can generally be found in the hangar or R&D areas, though every now and again his practical testing will take him onto the range. Speaks English fluently and unaccented, though he will occasionally lapse into his native tongue when exaggerated.Skills:
Exceptional engineer, but an extremely unorthodox one. Armbruster’s degree is in robotics, though his time in the Walker Corp has left him with a more well-rounded understanding of Arsenal Walker construction in most fields. What he has not learned academically he seeks to learn practically. In theory, he’s a decent pilot as well; his machine has logged a modest number of hours both on the range and in the sims, with above average, though not excellent, scores. Whether this holds up in reality has yet to be tested, and it’s debatable whether the concept has really occurred to him. Benjamin is physically fit, as well, as a result of the rigorous demands of physically maintaining and modifying his own machine. Excellent engineer, average soldier. Capable of operating on very, very little sleep though most would not call that a skill per se. Weakness:
Benjamin has a minimum of practical experience in real combat, and the disregard of the young for his own mortality. He doesn’t mind rolling the dice on odds that he should probably leave alone, so to speak, and while it works fine when everything is going his way it can occasionally backfire on him. Similarly, his lack of appropriate sleeping habits could probably be considered an issue if he were still classed as an active combat pilot. History:
Ben was born and raised in Germany, not too far outside of the capital city. His father was an engineer on the Federation’s spacefaring vessels, particularly weapon systems, and he was brought up with an eye for tinkering. As soon as he was old enough to really
be curious he was taking things apart just to see how they worked. School wasn’t especially fascinating, but he was held (and held himself) to a high standard. His grades were excellent, especially when he reached secondary school and started to have greater latitude in the classes he took on. University wasn’t a question, but a reality. The only question was what degree he wished to pursue. The Federation military wasn’t a goal
so much as a step, a way to study in other countries without any significant cost on his part.
That changed on his first assignment, where a skirmish with “unsanctioned” non-Federation forces brought him his first real look at a Federation Arsenal Walker. There was no question at that point what he aspired to, from the moment he saw one charge across a battlefield. He changed his degree path to more closely align with his goal, and started seeking specialized training. He was reassigned to Horizon, where he worked as a technician while he pursued his degree. It took some work, and a good word from his current CO, but Ben managed to finagle a transfer to Test Team shortly after his graduation. He’s been there since, two years now, and produced a variety of ideas ranging from excellent to catastrophic. By R&D standards, he’s exuberant. To the normal pilots, he’s something of a soft-spoken maniac. If anything, it just means he fits in fine with Horizon’s Test Team 4. Equipment:
Benjamin has, though rarely carries, his Federation-issued sidearm. More commonly found on his person are the tools of his trade, ranging from a handheld tablet computer to a well-loved set of common tools. Base Model:
The Vernichten is meant as a test bed unit, and its appearance reflects that. While cohesive, it has an appearance of simply being… Unfinished. Much of its visible surface is the matte silver of unpainted metal, though it is accented in midnight blue as a personal touch. If its coloration alone was insufficient proof that it was not meant for field use, the caution markings along many of its components suffice. Particularly hazardous points are actually marked in yellow and black hazard strips, something generally kept to a minimum on production models. Much of the base frame is recognizable as a Warrior, but the additions are where it started to vary. Two black enclosed boxes are attached to the top of each shoulder, the color variation marking them as separate from the base machine. The back-mounted gear, in addition to the usual thrusters, sports a thick black cable carefully wrapped when not in use. The cranial unit has eye-like optics set underneath a silver visor. Armaments:
-PTX-03C Marksman’s Rifle: Long-barreled, semi-automatic marksman’s rifle. The default PTX-03 maintains a higher rate of fire than a dedicated sniper rifle, as well as longer range and penetration than most Walker-scale rifles. The 03C has clearly been modified; as well as additional equipment integrated into the stock, the barrel is thicker and longer than on the default model. It houses a secondary coilgun mechanism, powered when the cable on the Vernichten’s back is plugged into the stock. The secondary mechanism accelerates the round significantly when fired, increasing both effective range and penetration. However the rifle’s rate of fire is significantly reduced, purportedly due to a high risk of catastrophic overload if one attempts to fire it as quickly as the base rifle. The Vernichten also inherits the Gunners’ fatal flaw of immobility while firing, without the significant armor to defend itself.
-Tajcorp S-4b Ballistics Shield: Standard-issue Federation ballistic shield, modified slightly to store the Vernichten’s secondary weapons in a rack on his back.
-Federation Ballistics H5 Heat Machete: Standard-issue Warrior close combat weapon, stored on the back of the Vernichten’s shield.
-United Armaments CS-12 100mm Smoothbore Shotgun: A compact version of the primary frequently chosen by Scouts, albeit with limited ammunition. Carries only the ten rounds that can be held internally, or on its exterior. Slugs only, stored with machete as a backup weapon if the enemy gets too close for the PTX-03C.
-Federal Munitions V21 Missile Launchers: Mounted on either shoulder, the Vernichten carries a total of sixteen fire-and-forget missiles. The launchers slow down the Vernichten while attached, so they are intended to be purged as soon as their munitions have been expended.
-- 2x General Engineering M79 20mm Pisces Cannons- Two head-mounted autocannons provide the unit with close-range defence against missiles, infantry and fighter craft.Weakness:
As a testbed unit, the Vernichten was never intended to see real-world combat conditions. The result is a potent unit, but one held back by overspecialization and significant flaws that would not be permitted in a production model. First of all, the same cable that provides for its rifle’s power is a significant weak point; concentrated fire at the connection point on the Vernichten’s backpack would force the reactor to shutdown to avoid a breach, leaving Benjamin in for all intents and purposes a dead machine until it can be repaired. Additionally, this same system possesses a not insignificant chance that it will overload explosively if the augmented rifle is fired too quickly in succession. The same missiles that help soften up its targets also slow the Vernichten down until they are purged, and the machine lacks for offensive options at medium range.
Unless supported by another unit, the Vernichten could be overwhelmed quite quickly if engaged at close or medium range where it has not been specced to be most effective. Especially if making use of its augmented rifle, circumstances within which the Vernichten inherits the Gunners’ immobility, but not the armor to compensate for it.Pilot(s):
Lt. Benjamin Armbruster