Concepts, Lore, & New Developments.
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"Weapons are but tools. Tools are the extension of man's intelligence, the extension of his soul. Our designs reflect that philosophy. Our practice with them makes it a reality."
The unique Hypercorporation Deterrence's weapons and gadgets are custom-tailored to deal with the strange and uncanny. That does not in itself mean that they are unusual; in fact, most of the gun designs the organization uses are derived from common military blueprints, only modified to suit the Shadow Nation's ends. Because of the tightly-controlled branding, they are very rarely found on the black market, as Deterrence Stalkers work tirelessly to ensure they do not fall into unauthorized hands.
In 1952 Perseverance absorbed several burgeoning arms manufacturing corps into its ranks, promising them access to exclusive designs as well as the knowledge that they were helping to defend humanity as a whole. The contract they have drawn up with these secret corporations essentially nullified them from the history books but made the weaponeers economic giants, on the condition that they provide them exclusively with new designs. Now that they've gone public as Deterrence, things may soon change.
In addition to standard firearms in use worldwide, Deterrence enjoys access to these specialized guns. That is not to say that they eschew the use of conventional weapons; in fact, their procurement and utilization is often far more economical. Most mercenaries hired by the Security Nation (see Baselines in Personnel) do not use these guns, but rather, more ordinary ones.
Note: This list is non-exhaustive and will be expanded as the organization develops.
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Space is no longer the final frontier. With the advent of alien interaction, it has merely become another dimension of an ever-expanding battlefield, a location to be secured, fortified, and utilized. Deterrence understands this better than any government, mobilizing into the outer atmosphere and beyond as a general rule. Partnering with SpaceX and NASA, they have begun in earnest humanity's colonization of the stars - by first starting with truly defining the outer borders of the planet.
Launched as part of Earth's new planetary defense net following the adoption of UN Resolution A/RES/1/26, this collection of orbital weapons platforms owned and operated by the Hypercorporation Deterrence are the next great weapon against the unknown. The astronomical cost of deploying such devices notwithstanding, they are projected to be an essential component of the Security Nation's "no holds barred" approach to planetary security when dealing with proportionally destructive opponents. Among the most terrifying of their new breed of weaponry are the warriors comprising the so-called Longinus Array.
Conditioned for exo-atmospheric operations, they personally man and fire the long-range orbital cannons with the machine precision and killer intuition common only to thinking, breathing human beings. Their capacity for abstract thought and improvisation still outperforms machines, meaning that their aiming the vast weaponry net is tactically superior.
The exorbitant cost of orbital satellite emplacements is matched by the combination of tactical effectiveness they bring as well as the sheer awe inspiring nature of exo-atmospheric strikes on enemy targets. Whereas the ISS has cost approximately 150 billion dollars over the course of its lifetime, the Longinus array has already racked up a price tag of around 100 billion in deployment costs, without considering the price of additional maintenance launches and crew staffing.
Regardless of resource drain, there is no doubt that the salvation of a city will pay back the price for the Longinus array in full. Even so, they must be constructed, launched, staffed, armed, and maintained, rendering them some of the Hypercorp's most expensive weapons utilized to date. However, their global attack range combined with their early warning potency against space-borne foes makes them truly indispensable, not to mention imposing.
The outer hulls of these satellites are composed of a special nano-farmed carbon substrate ideal for deployment in the irredeemably harsh conditions of outer space. Powered by both nuclear microreactors and solar panels, these miniature space stations operate in Low Earth Orbit, consistently placed at around 260 miles above the Earth's surface with an orbital speed of 18,000 mph. Each node in the array is about the size of a house, and can be staffed by as little as a single astronaut.
Longinus node cabins are designed for long-time stays in space by singular Deterrence operators, or in some cases, small squads. Nutrient production farms help keep them alive in between care package deliveries, and a dedicated communications network keeps them up-to-date with orders and goings-on on the planet below. Full VR pods help with the stresses of prolonged isolation in space, and weak targeting AIs may also be equipped to provide a form of company to those staffing the devices. A tunnel to the outer gun platform is present.
Though gravity at the altitude of the arrays is around 87% as strong as Earth's, the continuous orbit places objects in what appears to be a continuous state of free-fall, resulting in weightlessness for everything inside. Operators are fully trained to live and fight in this environment, with the internal structure of the cabin compensating for a directionless experience. There are kitchens, CO2 filters, exercise equipment, and oxygen generators aboard, as well as a main computer drive.
The individual nodes are capable of independent self-guiding operation, including evasive maneuvers. Incremental adjustments to the external flaps and jets can result in outrageous displays of zero-g aerobatics, all directed from within the pilot's cockpit. The outer gun platform of the array is built to be manned by a spacewalking combatant, though it can be fired from within the cabin. When engaging a target, the operator usually leaves the pressurized cabin to directly take control of the gun turret.
As high-priority targets for any attempting to undermine humankind's authority over Earth, as well as significantly expensive investments for the Hypercorp, the individual Longinus units are equipped with a variety of defenses practically guaranteeing they will live to see the end of their operational lifespans. Monitored and guided by the individual pilots, these systems secure the Array, and by extension, the world.
The first and most potent countermeasure is the positioning of the ships themselves. For starters, they fly beyond the capacity of most Earthboudn beings to reach or even see. Equipped with the same cloaking field technology employed by Deterrence's advanced vehicles, they evade sensors and sight alike until deployed. Existing within the vacuum of space means no sound or radar can be used to pinpoint their positions; further, the sheer enormity of the outer atmosphere means that hitting one by simple chance is impossible.
Signal cloaking is vital. Those aboard the Longinus array receive no information from Earth while cloaked, which is around 95% of the time. In addition to routinely decloaking for information briefs at standard intervals, the satellites can be activated by specialized radiation bursts on Earth near target zones, which they can detect. These "flares," which can also go off at Deterrence bases, indicate to the pilots that they are to decloak and receive orders. When engaged in surveillance, Longinus satellites must be decloaked to receive information.
The cloak makes most combat scenarios moot. Even if detected, however, there are additional defenses. Significantly armored and EMP hardened, they are difficult to engage with in air-to-air conflicts. Starlite-like coating laser-ablative coating is more than sufficient to absorb and / or refract thermal attacks, such as lasers. Such attacks appear common to both extraterrestrials and spacebound metahumans, making this a potent defense. Autoguns which fire rocket-propelled shrapnel as well as laser-field generators to deter enemies from attacking can be activated and directed, turning anything which gets too close into space refuse. Anti-missile interceptor flak is activated at the push of a button - or by automatic command of the AI, based on the pilot's preferences.
A ready-launch re-entry capable escape pod can be deployed to save the pilot's life in the event of the node's destruction or a malfunction.
Primary Armament I - Longinus Spears
Longinus nodes are equipped with myriad primary attack options, ranging from gravity-propelled ballistic attack pillars to high-powered particle bombardment cannons. Dedicated space-to-ground munitions, the ballistic columns are constructed in-space by "diamond farming" drones, which shape and craft the supplied raw materials into 50 foot long pillars perfect for kinetic bombardment. Though these weapons would have once violated the Outer Space Treaty, the presence of extraterrestrials alleged to possess enough power to flash-fry planets has left most world governments willing to endorse such weaponry.
The elongated ten-ton cylinders, after being constructed, are anchored to the outside of the node, and can be fired on command after orbital synchronicity with a target is achieved. An individual gunner can be used to aim the massive spear, with a superheated casing attaching to the back before firing. These "super-snipers" wear hulking exosuits to wield their weapons and protect against the vacuum of space.
The spear-like shape of the projectile eliminates friction on re-entry and maximizes target penetration, enabling such weapons to punch through virtually any defense at speeds of Mach 28 or greater. Time between deorbit and impact is minimal, though the kinetic energy transfer is ludicrous - these projectiles can strike the ground with the force of a small nuclear warhead. With the advent of more advanced guidance systems that could withstand re-entry, these attacks could become even more dangerous and precise - usable on moving targets, rather than purely stationary ones.
Such weapons are incredibly hard to create defenses against for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they have high-closing velocity, meaning that the time between firing and the attack hitting is minimal. Foes cannot know when the weapon is launched, as any launch signature occurs in orbit with no fixed position to track. Compared to a missile launch, it is virtually impossible to know that one has been attacked until after the attack lands - with devastating effect. There is no known bunker on Earth that could withstand a strike from a Longinus spear, as they are sometimes called.
Primary Armament II - Focused Radiation Beams
Though not nearly as powerful as the devastating Longinus Spears, these tightly-tuned beams of directed energy can do massive damage to selected targets. Adjustable lenses make it possible for these weapons to fire a variety of energy bursts across the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from pure heat/light output to gamma ray attack to incinerating microwaves. Similar in concept to the notorious Sun Gun, this means of attack is genuinely viable, and represents a cutting-edge means of waging war from space without the excessive collateral damage caused by releasing a ballistic column.
When fully focused, the beams can reach temperatures of around 5,500 Kelvin - nearing the heat of the Sun itself. These pulse attacks cause plasma explosions on direct impact, and by extent, fry all electronics in the target area, sometimes even bypassing EMP shielding with concentrated exposure. The near-instantaneous speed at which a target is destroyed after being selected makes this weapon tactically viable. More notably, these lasers are not gravity-based, and as such can be directed outwards, away from the planet.
Other uses for the FR Beam include shooting down intercontinental weapons, weakening or eliminating "Brick" class entities, successfully tagging "Speedster" type threats, blinding foes, and with minimum bursts, transmitting signals or messages. The mass energy requirements for these weapons makes successive space-to-ground shots infeasible.
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