Elijah Arshad MarzbanRank:
Raqīb of the 1st Special Forces (SF) of the Afghan National Army (ANA), Honorary-Sergeant of the North Atlantic Alliance Joint Military (NAAJM)Role:
Counter-terrorism, Direct action, Foreign internal defense, Special reconnaissance, Unconventional warfare,Nicknames:
Heterosexual (but inexperienced)Height:
1m 78 / 5’9”Weight:
68 kg / 150 lbsEyes:
Athletic, exotic, lean, muscular, ruggedDistinguishing Marks:
Various scars from surviving in a war-torn country since his birth.Bio:
Elijah Arshad Marzban was born in Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires. Throughout its existence, everything from the war elephants of Alexander the Great, to the British Empire, to the nigh-unstoppable mechanized Red Army had attempted to invade and conquer Afghanistan… and had all failed. Elijah’s parents were of Iranian ancestry and could trace their lineage back to the time when Iran was named Persia. They instilled in their youngest son a deep respect for the ancient, near-mythical land from which they hailed and love for the country they lived in now. His mother was a polyglot diplomat and taught young Eli Farsi, French, English, Arab and Russian (as well as their associated written forms), history, culture and the power of words. “Know of where you come from, my son. Know of where you are now. Know of those around you, near and far. Know of their people, their history and their culture.”
His father was a mechanical engineer and taught young Eli technical knowledge and the power of the mind. “Know as much as you can, my son. Knowledge is never useless. Know of science, know of mechanics, know of mathematics. Your mind is a muscle; without exercise, it will shrivel and be weak. If your mind is weak, what good is your body?”
His older brother, a soldier and martial artist, taught young Eli physically and the power of the body. “Know your body, my brother. Know your limits and know how to push beyond them. Strike only when you must, not when you want. But when you must, strike hard, fast and without hesitation. Know fear and accept it, but never let it control you. To control another is strength; to control oneself is true power.”
Eli worked hard, learned hard and practiced hard. Demanding more of himself than others demanded of him. Learning to depend on himself first and foremost. This hard upbringing might seem cruel, but it was a necessary cruelty. Afghanistan (or what is left of it now) has been assaulted from all sides by rogue armies, mercenary companies and power-mad warlords since it was first colonized thousands of years ago. But the modern armies that threatened them were different. Battle-armor wearing soldiers that can level a whole village within minutes. Gigantic mechanical horrors that could bombard positions from hundreds of kilometers away with pinpoint accuracy. Mechanical vehicles that could enter any grotto, travel through any valley and circumvent any mountain. Afghanistan’s mountains were nearly useless as natural defenses now. Technology had finally won over the harsh, unforgiving terrain of the country. Territories were abandoned and people fled for their lives. The last vestiges of the NATO military forces in Asia sent hundreds of emergency escape pods throughout the Eastern hemisphere, to allow refugees a chance to flee the violence and escape with them to the safety of the newly-formed Oceania (a conglomerate of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and a few micro-islands in their periphery), NATO's fiercest ally on this half of the world. Elijah’s family left his homeland; he chose to stay and defend it.
He was fourteen years old when he enrolled in the NATO-backed Afghan National Army. Since they could not officially take him as a soldier, Elijah served as a scout and a lookout, using the knowledge passed down by his brother to achieve whatever tasks were set upon him. When he turned 16, he was able to become a solider. Two years later, he was recruited into the Special Forces. There, he learned the techniques of unconventional warfare and stealth. For six years Elijah served with the SF, deployed thousands of miles from any friendly territory. Often, he and his fellow forces members would remain on mission for months, with no supplies or reinforcements of any kind. They would take whatever they needed off of their foes even as they worked against the invaders. Cutting off supply lines, destroying depots and making every advancing step a grueling, tedious affair. Entire fire-teams of infantrymen would be captured or simply disappear with little traces of a struggle. Convoys would vanish or be rendered unusable, vehicles would be commandeered in the dead of night. It was during one of these raids, deep within what was once known as Siberia, in the heart of Red Army territory, that the Special Forces happened upon a stockpile of battle armors. These were obviously suited for reconnaissance and stealth, not frontal assaults. Using his knowledge of the Russian language and the Cyrillic alphabet, Elijah helped his brothers-in-arms with the basic functions of the walkers. The Special Forces left the supply depot with every single one of the 40 mechanized armors stockpiled there, returning to Afghanistan with them.
Over the next five years, the ANA learned how to build and use these battle armors. Reverse-engineering allowing the military to begin production of their own reconnaissance mech suits, renamed the Scimitar
battle armors. All the instructions and engineering had been transferred from Cyrillic into Farsi and the first users were the Special Forces. Using these mechs, the SF was able to hold out much longer than it would have normally been possible against superior foes using enormous war mechs weighing almost a hundred tons. But soon enough, the war was clearly lost to the chaos of the rogue armies rising and falling around them. The looming, vengeful shadow of the Red Army was threatening to swallow the entire Asian continent. The ANA General Staff gave the order and the army retreated, abandoning Afghanistan to its would-be pillagers. Within a few weeks, the remnants of the army were reunited with the civilian masses that had taken refuge in Oceania. It was a bittersweet reunion, as the presence of the army indicated that they could not hold their country against the waves of the mechanized, armored raiders.
Elijah did spend a few months enjoying the peace that this conglomerate of countries offered, but it was not a peace that would satisfy him. Even as he reunited with his family, they understood the storm that brewed within the youngest boy of the Marzban family. They were well-treated and lived with millions of others, but… They were still refugees, outcasts of their own homeland. This gnawed at the young man, who attempted to find other means to being productive and useful to his people. It is not to say that Elijah enjoyed the bloodshed or combat. Truth be told, he disliked it immensely. But it was a necessary thing if they were to free their country and he fought because he could, not because he wanted to. If they did nothing, then the exiled peoples of Earth could never be able to return home if they so chose. Though he was talented for war, he wanted peace. He fought because he wanted peace, both abroad and back home.
The ANA General Staff seemed content to concentrate on the protection of its people for now, so Elijah approached what he thought was a NATO military base. It turned out that during his decade of fighting in the more dangerous places of Earth, much had changed in the way of politics. NATO did not exist here; instead, the North Atlantic Alliance Joint Military was in place, a mishmash of several old allied countries of NATO under a new banner. A meeting with a few very high-placed officers of both armies decided that Elijah Arshad Marzban could continue to actively serve the ANA and also serve the NAAJM by providing security upon civilian and military transports to and from the Lunar colonies. During his work with the NAAJM he would retain his military grade of sergeant, with all the privileges and responsibilities that came with it. Elijah used this position to learn as much as he could about the ever-shifting situation of the world and especially that of Eurasia. But the best he obtained were bar rumors and hearsay. The Red Army had apparently crumbled, all of Russia divided into warring territories directed by tyrants throwing ultra-sophisticated mech units against one another in futile displays of strength. The most savage and bloodthirsty was known as the Ryazan Empire, and it would apparently either drape the world in the red of its flag or drown it in seas of red blood.
During a recent deployment as head of security upon a cargo vessel, something went terribly wrong. The captain explained that much of the cargo needed to be jettisoned in order to be able to land safely. Upon hearing that passengers may be forced to crash land upon the Eurasian continent, Elijah was the first (and only) member of the security force to voluntarily crash-land with the first dropped containers, knowing they would probably land in some of the most hostile environments on Earth (they were fast approaching the Ryazan Empire's slowly-but-surely-expanding borders at this point). They would need someone to take point, a scout and a guide, someone who knows the lay of the land and how to guide them as safely as possible through the canyons, valleys and mountains of what was now clearly Hell on Earth. As Xenophon reluctantly took the role of guide for the remnants of the Ten Thousand in the ancient texts of the Anabasis
, so too will Elijah Arshad Marzban do everything in his abilities to guide those around him to safety.Equipment/Gear:
Elijah’s standard-issue military backpack contains all of the essentials for a Special Forces commando ready to undertake a lengthy mission behind enemy lines.
Humanoid reconnaissance walkerModel:
Mech Weight; 5 tons, Max carry weight; 25 tonsHeight:
3 meters / 10 feetTop Speed:
200 km per hour / 124 miles per hourCallsign:
- Energy garrote: By far the most advanced weapon of the Scimitar, this retractable 2-meter long piece of wire is in reality an intricately woven length of emitters and reflectors, along which millions of minuscule lasers will crisscross. When the thumb button on both handles are pressed, the length of wire hums to life and is sheathed in a lethal corona of disruptive energy, turning into a flexible cutting laser. This focused energy allows the garrote to slice through soft targets and vulnerable areas with horrifying ease. Even weapons, shields and armor plating will eventually be severed by the garrote, though thicker defenses will resist much longer and larger targets might simply be too big to damage with this weapon. A failsafe prevents the activation of the garrote unless it is fully charged. For each second of use, there is a 15-second recharge cycle that begins immediately after the weapon is deactivated. The energy garrote holds a 4-minute charge which, when fully depleted, will fall into a 60-minute recharge cycle during which it cannot be activated. An electromagnetic pulse will disrupt the garrote (if activated during the EMP) and force the full 60-minute recharge cycle, although it will cause no long-term damage. The retracted energy garrote is stored inside the Scimitar’s left forearm. This can be used by the pilot outside of the battle armor.
- Grenades and accessory toolbox: Built for unconventional warfare, the Scimitar carries a wide selection of grenades. Furthermore, the battle armor comports a toolbox stocked with pressure plates, fuses, detonators, wires, timers, adhesives and magnets for on-the-fly modifications, offering the tactical flexibility of using the grenades as booby traps, mines, multiple explosive charges, time bombs, sticky grenades and magnetic grenades. This can be used by the pilot outside of the battle armor.
- Anti-personnel (2): An anti-personnel grenade (also known as a frag grenade) produces a blast of shrapnel that can shred unarmored targets and lightly armored vehicles. The blast also has the tactical advantage of forcing the enemy to duck into cover to avoid injury.
- Anti-tank (2): Also known as krak grenades, these explosives are designed to crack open armored targets through a concentrated implosive blast. Although an anti-tank grenade can easily kill a man, they are mainly used against mechs, tanks and other armored vehicles. They are very effective at destroying hard targets, building structures and for tearing holes into defensive fortifications.
- Incendiary (2): Incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical effect called a thermite reaction. This produces a tremendous amount of heat, as the white phosphorous filler burns at 2,800 °C (5,070 °F), making incendiary grenades useful for destroying weapons caches, artillery, and vehicles. This weapon functions without an oxygen source, allowing it to burn underwater or in a vacuum.
- Smoke (2): Screening smoke grenades release a rapidly expanding black gas that is too thick to see through with unassisted vision. The loud hissing noise can also be used as a lure. Smoke is harmful to breathe, since it contains hydrochloric acid. Whilst not intended as a primary effect, these grenades can generate enough heat to burn unprotected skin.
- Stun (2): Upon detonation, a stun grenade (or flashbang grenade) releases an intensely loud "bang" of 170–180 decibels and a blinding flash of more than one million candela within five feet of initiation, sufficient to cause immediate flash blindness and deafness, tinnitus and inner ear disturbance. Exposed and unprotected targets experience disorientation, confusion and loss of coordination and balance.
- Tear gas (2): Tear gas grenades (or riot control grenades) are similar to smoke grenades in terms of shape and operation. The gas contained inside burns with a pyrotechnic composition which generates an aerosol of lachrymatory smoke. This causes extreme irritation to the eyes and respiratory system.
- Vibro-scimitar: The signature weapon of the Scimitar-class battle armor, this weapon was constructed to appear as a simple yet finely-crafted, broad-bladed, single-edged, mildly-curved, one-handed mech-sized scimitar with a micro-serrated edge. The disk-shaped pommel provides a very secure grip. Built out of a super-alloy, the sword is an elegant and dangerous weapon by itself. The sword’s blade is unusual for a curved sword as it is designed for both thrusting and cutting. It can also be used as a decent crowbar. However, the true power of the vibro-scimitar becomes clear upon activation of the generator located in the handle. This emits high-frequency sonic pulses that causes the blade of the sword to be sent into an extremely quick vibration. When it contacts something, the vibrations ripple across the material, destroying a much larger portion (in addition to the simple fact of the blow cutting more) and damaging the target more efficiently than the original weapon. This causes even the slightest glancing blow to potentially become a gaping wound. Given enough time, effort and leverage, the high-speed sonic vibrations would allow the blade to carve its way through a variety of defenses. However, heavy plating and specifically designed materials may be too tough or thick to cut. Thanks to a simple system of specially-calibrated magnets, the weapon can be affixed anywhere on the mechanized frame, allowing it to be drawn with ease even in very confined areas. This can be used by the pilot outside of the battle armor as a two-handed weapon.
- Shock-staff: The Scimitar’s non-lethal alternative to melee combat, this telescopic staff reaches two meters when fully extended. It has a power pack in the handle (that is covered by a wide handguard) which is used to activate high-density cells at the tip that produce a non-lethal charge. By overloading the target's nervous system, most organic targets will be rendered unconscious or even catatonic. This electrical discharge can also be used to short-circuit or overload electrical systems. The shock-staff has a setting switch on the pommel so the pilot can set the exact severity of the shock (at full charge, this weapon can kill an unprotected human target). The Scimitar must physically touch or strike the target in order to affect it. The shock-staff is fully functional when collapsed, effectively turning into a shock-gauntlet. The thick, molded handguard covers the front of the Scimitar’s hand and is built of the same durable, high-density cells as the business end of the weapon when expanded. The shock-staff is usually carried collapsed and on the left hip of the battle frame, where it can easily be slipped over the Scimitar’s left hand. Thanks to a simple system of specially-calibrated magnets, the weapon can be affixed anywhere on the mechanized frame, allowing it to be drawn with ease even in very confined areas.Subsystems:
- Cloaking device: This active system is cutting-edge technology stolen from a Red Army battle armor stockpile before the Eurasian political collapse. This system is able to render the user invisible to the naked eye as well as many forms of electronic scanning. This device warps light around the Scimitar in such a fashion that surfaces, objects and people behind the mechanized suit are visible through it. The effect is not perfect. Sudden movement such as combat will leave a visible, blurry silhouette that is similar to a heat haze. But in certain environments and when the Scimitar moves at stealth speed (one-tenth of its top speed or less), it can effectively help the battle armor to hide in plain sight, meters away from a target. The cloaking device extends to unpowered and inactive weapons held by the battle armor, allowing the Scimitar to prepare devastating surprise attacks. It can be used for 120 minutes before shutting down for a 12-minute cooldown cycle during which it cannot be activated. An electromagnetic pulse will disrupt the cloak (if activated during the EMP) and force it to automatically begin a full cooldown cycle, although it will cause no long-term damage.
- Jet boots: The Scimitar possesses thrusters located in the boots which the pilot can use to boost vertically through the air for a period of about five seconds. While using this system, the pilot can control the direction of movement and slow down jumps or falls from great heights. Greater heights and distances can be obtained if the thrusters are pulsed rather than used constantly. One full 5-second burst is enough to let the Scimitar land safely from a fall at terminal velocity. The gas that is stored by the heat signature suppressor system is recycled and pressurized to be used as thrust for the jet boots. Ten minutes of continuous use of the heat signature suppressor is necessary for a single 5-second jump and the Scimitar can store up to ten 5-second jumps.
- Heads Up Display: The Scimitar utilizes a highly advanced area-scanning overlay that is able to report an incredible amount of detail, basically forming a real-time, three-dimensional map of the battle armor’s surroundings within one kilometer. The HUD is projected onto the visor and as such, if damaged, will not obscure vision. Features include target tracking, aim assist, topology, infrared, x-ray vision and a suite of other options. Also, the telescopic sight of the Scimitar possesses a variable magnification of x2 to x120 and stores the viewed information in a database, cross-referencing any and all available information associated with what is currently observed. This allows the pilot to plan out a detailed assault and update the previewed map of the area with the vast array of sensors the display system possess once the Scimitar arrives on site. The HUD also has a vast library of information, including tactical information on mechanized units, their weapons and tactics, as well as general strengths and weaknesses. The display presents simple symbols at the bottom left corner of the pilot's field of vision to indicate which of the Scimitar’s subsystems are currently active.
- Heat suppressant: This system must be activated upon command of the Scimitar’s pilot. It will contain all heat emissions from the battle armor, rendering it invisible to any type of infrared and heat signature-based detection or weapon. Heat-seeking missiles will simply fly past the Scimitar and infrared sensors will reveal absolutely nothing. The heat signature suppressant also acts as the main source of pressurized gas for the jump boots. It can also act as a diversion tactic, rapidly diffusing the suppressed heat and gas into water or snow to create a rapidly expanding billow of heat, masking the Scimitar’s precise location. The system can function for 24 hours, after which the Scimitar must purge the stored heat or risk a hard shutdown while the battle armor cools off. An electromagnetic pulse will disrupt the suppressor (if activated during the EMP) and force it to immediately purge itself, although it will cause no long-term damage.
- Intrusion kit: This is an array of simple programs and tools designed to assist in infiltration. Included is an auto-picker (to bypass physical locks and padlocks), a hacking program for overriding electronics and other infiltration tools. The effectiveness of the system depends on the time needed for the system to work, the estimated strength of the defense being infiltrated as well as any kind of counter-intrusion methods. The intrusion kit is stored under the right hip plate of the mechanized frame. This can be used by the pilot outside of the battle armor.
- Life-support systems: Automatic air filtration systems allow the Scimitar to pass unharmed through any kind of airborne or biological hazards. The battle armor is fully functional underwater as the filtration system is capable of separating hydrogen and oxygen, replenishing the air supply inside the mechanized frame for up to 24 hours of continuous use before the Scimitar must re-surface to purge the filtration system. In the vacuum of space or any other air-tight area, the Scimitar possesses a 1-hour air supply that will be replenished as soon as the Scimitar is able to detect safe, breathable levels of oxygen. The self-adjusting life-support system allows the battle armor to function near areas of immense pressure as well as allowing the pilot to survive extremes of Earth-based temperatures (such as being near an active volcano or in the middle of Antarctica).
- Magnetic surfaces: These small, powerful plates are located on the palms of the battle armor’s hands and the soles of the Scimitar’s feet. When activated, these will make the mechanized frame cling to heavier metallic objects or attract smaller objects to it. These will allow the Scimitar to walk sideways or even upside down along heavier metallic objects.
- Noise inhibitor: This automatic system allows the Scimitar to move in silence. When activated, the battle armor can sneak up on an opponent as it cannot be heard, nor can it be detected by sonar. The noise inhibitor allows ambient sounds to travel freely around the battle armor to avoid the contradictory effect of having an opponent notice the absence of sound nearby. However, the system will only activate if the battle armor is moving in stealth mode (one-tenth of its top speed or less). It takes 5 seconds for the noise inhibitor to engage once stealth mode is achieved. The inhibitor shuts down immediately if the Scimitar moves faster than stealth speed. The system also works on handheld firearms (making the Scimitar an efficient sniper unit), but the system must be given enough time to reactivate between each shot. Anything faster than single-shot rate of fire will simply cancel out the system. An electromagnetic pulse will disrupt the system (if activated during the EMP) and prevent it from functioning for the duration of the EMP, although it will cause no long-term damage.
- Sound mimicry: Discreet receivers allow for the recording of all ambient noises, sounds and particular human voices. The mechanized frame already has an extensive database of prerecorded sounds and statements. Typically, the mimicry system is used in distress calls, beckons or insults to lure a target to a specific location, often with the intent of separating them from their comrades and thereby making them an easier target. The Scimitar can also use mimicry to circumvent electronic security systems that require the use of a specific spoken password to deactivate. The battle armor has eight small sound emitters. These can be activated manually (if the pilot wishes to lure a target towards the Scimitar or circumvent a voice-activated system) or from up to 100 meters away (if the pilot wants to draw a target away). The emitters are stored under the left hip plate of the mechanized frame. This can be used by the pilot outside of the battle armor.
- Stabilizers: This passive system distributes and evens out the weight of the Scimitar when it is in motion, allowing the user to maneuver with the same grace, ease of movement and precision as the pilot can move outside of the mechanized frame. The stabilizers also assist in holding a fixed position for extended periods of time (when aiming, for example) and helps counter the vertigo and disorientation effects from high-speed maneuvers. The system assists the Scimitar’s pilot when it is moving sideways or upside-down thanks to the magnetic surfaces.Strengths:
- Agility: The Scimitar’s jet boots and stabilizers, combined with its top running speed of 200 kph (that can be reached within 2.98 seconds) makes this battle armor a surprisingly quick and nimble mechanized unit. It can outrun heavy artillery fire and close in on larger, slower mechs before they can get a chance to readjust their aim or position.
- Hands: The hands on the Scimitar allow the battle armor to operate a wide range of equipment, without requiring any modification to the mech. It can pick up and use clubs, blades, rifles, shotguns, RPG launchers, and a variety mech-sized tools. More importantly, it can reload hand-held weapons, implying a functionally infinite ammo supply in combat (assuming there is a functionally infinite ammo supply available).
- Life-like motion: The Scimitar’s build allows for its pilot to move with all the same dexterity, ease and precision that the pilot possesses outside of the cockpit.
- Melee combat: With its array of melee options, raw speed and stealth capabilities, the Scimitar is an efficient close-combat battle armor and can be devastating when attacking unaware targets.
- Sealed cockpit: The Scimitar can function underwater, is immune to airborne toxins, survive the vacuum of space, resist the pressure of ocean depths and can be deployed nearly anywhere on the face of the Earth.
- Stealth: The entirety of the Scimitar’s subsystems are based for or around stealth. With less than ten seconds of preparation, this mechanized frame can become near-invisible, generate no sound, hide its heat signature and be virtually undetectable, so long as it is moving at stealth speed (one-tenth of its max speed or less).Weaknesses:
- EMP: The cloaking system, heat suppressor, noise inhibitor and energy garrote are vulnerable to electromagnetic pulses and will shut down immediately if they are active during an EMP emission. This can lock out some of the Scimitar’s most useful systems while potentially revealing the battle armor as it is intruding deep inside hostile territory.
- Life-like motion: The Scimitar is designed to mimic the real-life physical capabilities of the pilot. The battle armor’s on-board AI cannot serve any kind of direct combat role. If the pilot is unconscious, the Scimitar will remain unresponsive (but an emergency program will kick in to try and stir the pilot. The program includes sounds, lights, low-voltage electrical prodding, smelling salts and a defibrillator if the AI detects cardiac failure). The mechanized frame reflects the abilities of its pilot; it does not compensate for them.
- No flight capabilities: This battle armor has no chassis-based flight options.
- No ranged combat: The Scimitar currently possesses no ranged combat options.
- Self-reliance: The Scimitar is designed to be a stealth-based, self-sufficient mech unit to be used in unconventional warfare and long-term deployment behind enemy lines. This severely limits the battle armor’s utility in group tactics, forcing it into indirect combat roles such as distracting, flanking, sabotage or sniping. The Scimitar’s pilot needs to be creative to circumvent these design limitations.
- Size: Regardless of its efficiency, the Scimitar remains a 5-ton battle armor and is thus smaller and more vulnerable than larger, heavier mechs built for direct warfare.
- Specialization: The Scimitar possesses few options in an open, prolonged combat situation. It is designed for infiltration and surprise attacks, not frontal assaults or heavy fire support.
- Stealth mode: In order for its subsystems to be at their most effective, the Scimitar must move at one-tenth of its top speed with inactive weapons in hand, severely limiting the distance it can cover while at this speed.Equipment/Gear:
Elijah’s military backpack fits in a small sealed container affixed to the inside back-plate of the suit. It is only accessible when the Scimitar is open.