The last century has seen a steady and dramatic rise in military planners' focus on the nooiome 'battlefield', on cyber-security and hacking. Indeed the media and immersive entertainment industry has followed this lead, reinforcing the public's view of our phyles' and cultures' protectors as the courageous and creative military hacker. But the truth is a lot of conflict is still resolved by men with guns. Its just that, perhaps as part of the paradigm of fifth generational warfare, they are more subtle about it.
For those who's job it is to ensure their armies win battles, much of the 21st century was spent trying to do one of two things. First, there was the drive to make machines more intelligent, more complex, able to make the lightning fast decisions regarding identification, value, and prioritization that man makes in nano or milliseconds- to make machines more like man. The other side of the coin was to try and make man more like machines, to produce humans with a machine's endurance, strength, speed, and durability. While ultimately both were largely successful, to varying degrees, there have been limits to these technologies which have pushed battlefields towards the use of soldier and remote-controlled drones.
Sprite-controlled machines proved quite capable of recognizing guns or soldiers and to recognize many such items simultaneously but they were much poorer at recognizing what the consequences of their interaction or of the machine’s interaction with them would be. The lack of an ability to draw inferences, to predict the outcome of these interactions was what ultimately prevented the ‘automated robots’ from ever dominating the battlefield. Ethicists have been stubborn in insisting that this is for the best; that is best not to dehumanize killing.
The second option was man-controlled remote drones and these have been very successful in a number of circumstances, they have also proven vulnerable to electromagnetic disruption and to hacker (and maelstrom wildlife) hostilities. Another limitation is reaction time. Even highly enhanced pilots with some of the best exocortex interfaces suffer response time degradation due to data transfer and processing times (especially compared to highly enhanced soldiers in the field). And the last, and perhaps most important reason is that drones have not proven to be as cost-efficient as living, enhanced soldiers. Drones are very good at patrol or surveillance but for actual battle against targets that are firing back, only those drones with the most highly trained and biotechnologically and cybernetically enhanced pilots have any hope of competing successfully. And so the cost savings in training and enhancing remote pilots, compared to in-field soldiers, is not as great as one might expect, and add to that the cost of the drones themselves, and human soldiers remain a very viable option for direct conflict resolution.
And so ‘enhanced’ soldiers remain a deciding force on the shadowy global battlefield. The remote-controlled (or-direct piloted) war-machine retains its central role in air control, surveillance, and ground support, and makes much of the successes of human soldiers possible, but they have yet to supplant them.
Soldiers in 2092 are faster, stronger, and more intelligent. Some fly, others breathe underwater. Most can see in the dark and a few have claws. All cost a LOT of resources to enhance and train. The marines of 20th century USA were thought to cost approximately half a million dollars to train and equip. Each. Today's soldiers cost at least ten times that much. But one of today's soldiers is an entirely different creature from those of the last century. And as militaries have moved away from conventional warfare to an amalgam of espionage, subversion, terrorism, third-party actors (often private security consultants with deniable relations to their sponsors), and a focus on small-scale, targeted special ops, the requirements for large militaries have decreased and the need for highly specialized elite forces has dramatically increased. And so infantry numbers have decreased, even as costs have remained constant or increased.
Enhancements, Training, and Equipment Edit
Assuming we are discussing a professional soldier with real phyle-level backing, we are discussing a man or woman who’s undergone extensive physical, medical, social, and psychological vetting and training to ensure that they are worth the substantial investment they will be receiving. These improvements include:
In the first phase of enhancement, the would-be soldier’s genome is sequenced and military geneticists synthesize innumerable retroviral vectors they use infect the individual and deliver genes. Many of these are meant to deliver simple improvements like protection against cellular senescence (to slow aging), to enhance the immune system, or to correct minor genetic disorders. The majority introduce completely new genes however, genes from other animals, or genes that are completely synthetic and have never occurred in nature. These greatly increase the number of mitochondria per cell and rewrite muscle cytoskeletal structure with ‘optimized’ proteins that make the soldier much stronger and faster than their unenhanced self. Enhancements to cardiac muscle tissue and to lung alveoli cellular fenestration ensure improved oxygen recovery and delivery. A whole slurry of genes create new organelles in peripheral nerves and brain white matter greatly increasing reflexes and improving cognition and intelligence. Similar changes to the ‘low brain’ reduce the effects of fatigue on attention and reduced reaction times. Enhancements to the immune system, liver, and kidneys increase toxin resistance. Genes from tarsier, squid, and cats provide night vision. Genes from bats and dolphins provide impressive sensitivity to sound. Genes from bears, dogs, and sharks provide an incredible sense of smell allowing modern soldiers to track their prey by scent over vast distances. Improvements to clotting, immune inflammation and controlled cellular proliferation means modern soldiers survive and recovery faster after injury as well.
Military Cybernetics Edit
The primary piece of military hardware that a soldier is provided with is the military-grade exocortex. Of much greater complexity and much more intricately linked to the brain than civilian hardware, the soldier’s excortex communicates between itself and the brain at a much faster rate and over a much greater area, allowing applications that are not normally associated with a civilian exocortex.
The exocortex acts to increase the neuronal processing network 'space' for developing the senses, allowing the soldier to make full use of their new, highly attuned senses of hearing, sight, and smell.
These improvements allow the soldier to experience a command and control integration unimagined by earlier generations. Instantaneous, telepathy-like communication, without even the need for language, allows integration of situational awareness from observational drones or satellites, even the senses (hearing, sight, etc) of other soldiers in the field communicated via their nodes. Guns are fired, armor is controlled, and vehicles are piloted by thought. And all of this is backed by some of the best security sprites and optical hardening available- making invasion by wildlife or hostile hackers nearly impossible.
In addition to the exocortex, most soldiers receive subdermal implants called ‘armor weave’ which helps protect against kinetic damage and takes a lot of the danger out of a knife, explosion shrapnel, or in some cases even a bullet.
At this point the soldier still appears human.
A combination of powered exoskeleton and armor, the ‘exo’ is worn when subtlety is no longer important. Powered by new generation batteries, exo have none of the power limitations of the 20th and early 21st centuries but do none-the-less need to be routinely recharged, mandating significant logistic support in some conflict zones. The exoarmors greatly increase strength without sacrificing speed or agility, while also offering protection from kinetic or laser weapons. Some are equipped with rho-keys to allow rho-based acceleration and/or a plethora of distributed centi-and milli-scale electrothermal turbojets (see jump infantry). Some specialized units use exoarmors embedded or covered in military metamaterials which effectively allow ‘invisibility’ on the visible and infrared wavelengths, though these have much reduced protection against laser weapons.
The standard weapon of most infantry units is the laser rifle. With its own primary battery energy source, the laser rifle can also be recharged from portable batteries specific to that purpose, the exoarmor batteries, or those of a support vehicle. Secondary weapons include standard kinetic rifles (similar in many ways to 20th century automatic rifles) or specialized weapons for the destruction of heavier targets.
Drop Infantry Edit
Many phyles employ a form of airborne infantry who’s specialty is airborne combat. Typically these men and women receive additional genetic modifications making them highly resistant to high G forces and specific training and exocortex anchoring to help them navigate and act effectively in three-dimensional combat environments. In many ways they are very like aircraft pilots.
In addition to canned air, the exoarmor of drop infantry are equipped with rho-keys to allow rho-based acceleration from mobile launch platforms both at sea or on land as well as a plethora of distributed centi-and milli-scale electrothermal turbojets that allow propulsion. Fins and small wings provide stability and control. Drop infantry flight times are still very limited by battery capacities and depending on initial launch conditions flight times typically last approximately 15 to 20 minutes with none lasting longer than 30.
Amphibious Soldiers Edit
A limited number of phyles (Amazonia, Puszcza Wynd, and increasingly Atlas America) make use of specialized soldiers who receive addition genetic modifications and cybernetic implant to allow them to effectively breath underwater.
In these soldiers genetic modifications include additional resistance to water pressure and better thermoregulation.
The first and primary cybernetic implant is a series of control systems for the lungs and respiratory system that culminate in an electrolysis device implanted in the tracheal carina. This generates oxygen and hydrogen directly from water using an implanted battery. The oxygen is directly injected into the soldier’s bloodstream effectively allowing them to breath water, while CO2 is filtered out. Because of the highly humid environment of the lungs and the extreme amount of oxygen gas that can be obtained from liquid water, these soldiers can also obtain oxygen under conditions without breathable air or water (at least for a limited time). The second cybernetic implant these soldiers receive is an additional secondary, transparent, eyelid that allows them to operate more effectively in water and especially in water with significant debris in it.
Trance Infantry Edit
Unique to Amazonia and Zen-Serotonin phyles but with the the Ummah Al Salaam spending considerable resources on developing similar technologies, the trance soldiers use bio and pscyhofeedback to enter a ‘battle trance’ state that increases their reflexes to a state otherwise unattainable.
The feedback loop requires specific modification of the exocortex and specialized training involving breathing exercises, meditation, and self-hypnosis.
As a result of these modifications, programs, and exercises, the soldiers can enter into an extremely calm and zen-like state where their focus is nearly absolute and they are able to feel but remain unaffected by their emotional state, fear, or pain. Most importantly however, they are able to act without conscious thought. They remain sentient and aware; they are in absolute control of their actions, but their actions precede their awareness or conscious initiation of the action. Effectively they are sentient without being conscious, at least on a scale relating to their reflexes. And this makes them fast.
While some had thought that such a state would lead to a high degree of friendly fire or unintended violence, these fears have proven unfounded; it seems that the unconscious mind maintains the same capacity for discrimination and decision making that the conscious mind does.
Trance, despite its relative youth as a military program, has already impressed its value upon military strategists; after all, its rather hard to argue with a soldier who can use a lasgun to fire bullets out of the air (though this may be a considerable exaggeration).
Note-form ideas on altitude- maybe use to help guide you.
- any craft should be achieving below 150km and above atmosphere (karman line, 100km) flight without orbit (which means going that high just for efficiency purposes and coming back down)
- specialized vehicles could go even higher OR achieve orbit in 100-150km altitude, cannot do both without techs
- only really rare, expensive and big ships (like Shingen's C1) can go higher altitude and achieve an orbit because they have enough place for fission engines, but they are really rare and expensive and sending them to space doesn't really make sense because they'd be an open target, they don't have proper spaceflight controls nor stuff like space-specialized multidirectional thrusters
Sifaus Units Edit
Active Personnel: [REDACTED]
Squad Size: 24
Equipment: Standard Exoskeleton and Weaponry
Quality over quantity. This is what Shengen Army is about. Expensive, yes, but also this means no soldier is dead. For Shengen, every soldier is important. Thats why they are getting the best equipment and training that Shengen has to offer.
Active Personnel: [REDACTED]
Squad Size: 12
Equipment: Specialized Exoskeleton and Weaponry
Shengen Special Forces works for only one thing: Defeat the enemy and protect the innocent whatever the cost. These man will work for their objective even though it needs self sacrifice. Their exoskeleton of choice will be given to them when needed. Most of their equipment are modular so that they can change it around. Whatever the harsh condition is, they’ll find a way to execute their mission.
Active Personnel: [REDACTED]
Squad Size: 6
Equipment: Covert Exoskeleton and Weaponry
Smallest of all other Forces, Covert Squads are trained for one thing: Don’t be seen. Designed for not being seen and heard, their exoskeleton is mostly protects from eyes, ears and radars, not from bullets. They have the most intense training of all other forces too. They train with weapons -melee or ranged- and also learn to fight hand-to-hand combat -with or without exoskeleton. If needed, Covert Squads can leave their equipment and do some old school espionage. These guys are the reason Shengen Intelligence Agency doesn’t use spies anymore.
Min Crew: 0
Max Crew: 0
Max Altitude: 30 km
When there is too much problem on sky and A6 cannot support Infantry, D9 is there to help. With its small size and agility, D9 can bring cover or firepower (or both) if needed.
Min Crew: 1
Max Crew: 2
Length: 12 m
Max Altitude: 150 km, Unsustainable Orbit
Lighter and smaller than F15, S12 provides another role that needs to be filled: Its more agile, fast and able to achieve great speeds and heights that might be needed. It is the best ship Shengen has when it comes to dog fighting, though to achieve maximal effect, its pilots must have very deep exocortex integration, making both bird and pilot very expensive. Variations: -S2-Covert: This variation uses small radar signature S2 has in its advantage and strips away most of the hard armor for stealth coating. Also with better energy efficiency and better afterburner, this variation can sustain orbit below 150 km.
Min Crew: 2
Max Crew: 2
Length: 16 m
Max Altitude: 150 km, Unsustainable Orbit
The powerful multirole fighter of Shengen, proud member of military force. Derived from its older ancestors, it fulfills all the roles a fighter can and more. It has stealth properties- invisible in the visual and thermal wavelengths, its also defeats some longer wavelength scans through materials engineering. It can carry small nuclear warheads and a fly-by-wire systems able to interface with ‘deep-exocortex’ pilots allows for maximal responsiveness.
Min Crew: 2
Max Crew: 6 (+42)
Length: 64 m
Max Altitude: 150 km, Unsustainable Orbit
Both a dropship and infantry support vehicle, A6 is the best personnel carrier Shengen ever produced. It can both work as an dropship or, with its high-wattage lasers, a close-air support vehicle that can land where its needed. Variations: -A6-Highbird: This variation has half the personnel capacity but more firepower to bring. -A6-Covert: This variation is used on covert operations that generally need less man. It is a lot smaller (32m) and has a lot less capacity (maximum crew is 4, and has spare space for 20). Also has less armor but has stealth coating. A6-Covert is sometimes used with S12-Covert in a formation to achieve success high risk covert operations in and outside of Shengen.
Min Crew: 24
Max Crew: 72
Length: 162 m
Max Altitude: Low Earth Orbit, Sustainable Orbit
Biggest ship on Shengen Airforce, C1 can bring the wrath if needed. Huge firepower and wide range of weaponry with hard armor makes this Aircruiser great for any big fights which need to be resolved. C1 generally won’t directly join the fight but works as a mobile headquarters for the airforce and the army. It can grant great surveillance and, with its fission generators, can achieve orbit.