I haven't been feeling well, and have had obligations to attend to, so this has been a less than productive week. Next week should be a five entry make-up week, provided I can think of anything.
"Today's lunchtime topic - Encounter suits and other armor. We will start with body armor. Nice, simple, and far more complex than you think.
There are two main types solid and liquid. There is no gas or plasma armor - and if they existed, it would be pretty hard to wear. Solid armor is the older and cheaper technology - high strength ballistic fibers interwoven with the occasional ceramic or metal plate to catch and stop projectiles. Its been the standby for about a century now, and in most places, what you would find. Liquid armor uses nanotech rehological nonnewtonian fluids - which is a bunch of ten dollar words to describe something with the consistency of toothpaste that stops bullets whenever it is put under pressure or receives an electric charge.
Liquid armor is somewhat flexible, making it less fatiguing to wear due to greater comfort. Its also more resistant to environmental factors - Kevlar that is wet, or gotten dirt in its weaves, or abraded by the environment - even long term storage can be a negative - won't work as well, if at all. Liquid armor is also somewhat more reusable. Technically, an old bullet proof vest is a one use item, though everyone has probably gotten away with more than that at some point in the zone.
Old style armor is cheaper to produce, works just fine - or with trauma plates - better, and is easier to replicate. You might find a micro-fac that can spin ballistic silk, but liquid armor is too new, and too closely guarded a secret to still be made.
Power Armor. Thats a term with a lot of endearment. Everybody wants one. Thing is, it is not really armor. Better than a ballistic vest, but the main purpose is to provide additional technology and carrying capacity to troops. Despite the stories, a heavy machine-gun, auto-cannon, or even a sniper with a heavy anti-material rifle can rip a Papa November a new one. However, on board radar and thermal imagers mean you might be able to see that gun or sniper and react, while the better capacity means you can carry an anti-tank missile to deal with that vehicle from miles away.
Even if the extra weapons aren't available, and it doesn't make you superman, the capacity or tech alone makes it great - right? Well, like a combat jet, they do take a lot of maintenance. Furthermore, its a little more complex than simply put it on and turn it loose - you need some time to adjust, and hopefully a bit of training. Diego has met more than one person who broke a limb because the armor tried to move or close up before they were ready, and there is a bit of a lag in movement - it often seems a bit more like swimming than walking.
What is probably at once the most familiar and enigmatic at the same time is the Eekaide. Most of us call them Incubus power armors, or simply those alien walking machines. Some of the more sadistic amongst you might call them target practice. I'm not here to judge, and there are citizens that pose a legitimate threat - but it may be helpful to try and get along. Remember, each one contains an intelligent being and could very well be your friend under better circumstances.
Now that intelligent being inside tends to refer to it as an eye-ka-ih-dee or alternately...eye-ka-ee-day. No, I can't hear the difference either, but apparently the Citizens can. It means either utility carapace, or encounter carapace. Functionally its kind of a mater of tense I guess - is it a suit there to be used or do you actively go out and operate it in the field.Suit is relative though - its piloted by a sitting individual in a cockpit, not worn.
From the citizens point of view its actually somewhat akin to a fork-lift, albeit one that can shatter concrete and pull apart I-beams. However, its built for abuse and hazardous environments, so it works in combat too. It is tougher than most human power armors - the only one that might be on par with the Might MacArthur which is one of the heaviest - though its notably faster than that one.
Well, that wraps up this broadcast for now. Be careful out there."