Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me? You expect me to wear one of THOSE?!!”
“Orders are orders, Shan. But look on the bright side. They’ll make us look cool and we’re getting paid for it!”
Inspired by the value of certain technologically advanced powered armor fielded by organizations such as SHIELD and Hydra, corporations such as Stark International and those from the superhuman community, the Boss of SHADOW decided to design one just for her team, much to the dismay of some of members most especially Marigold who personally abhors anything related to costumed heroes and villains.
The initial design was based of other experimental a wearable mobile machines that are powered by a system of electric motors, pneumatics, levers, hydraulics, or a combination of technologies that allow for limb movement, increased strength, and endurance. After a series of tests and feedback taken from the Kill Team members, it was decided that a full hard suit of armor would only inhibit their movements and already superb prowess whereas the time it takes to don such hardware was considered wasteful. As a result, Foxglove chose the most basic “skeletal” design that may be worn quickly and over regular clothing without sacrificing their standard wearable gear and removing the need to put on special bodysuits.
Dubbed as the Exoframe, short for Exoskeletal Frame, (sometimes called Ex-frames) , the development program started as a long experimentation with a number of prototypes before the Edelweiss saw the final version as fit for actual field use.
Although fairly new to the Kill Team armory, the Exoframe is a powerful and exceptionally flexible set of tactical combat hydraulics that traces its origins to failed HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier) program that was tested then rejected by the U.S. military. It possesses a variety of functions that allows the wearer to perform nearly above average human feats such as strength assisted sprints and leaps. It may be worn over just about any set of apparel from civilian clothing to the SHADOW Company Combat Shroud and still accommodate other gear such as backpacks, tactical vests and bandoliers. In addition, the Exoframe wearers may also ride as well as drive / pilot most vehicles with no impediment.
The present series of Exoframes being fielded by the Edelweiss is physically ergonomic with a very slim shape which gives the user more flexibility in battle. It is capable of increasing many of the wearer’s physical abilities, allowing faster sprinting, higher leaps and to carry hundreds of pounds worth of extra load. They are equipped with of built-in gadgets such as grappling hooks and cloaking systems.
So far, four prototypes have been produced and accepted for actual combat. Their callsigns, abilities and stats are as follows:
EXOFRAME – RECON CLASS (“Ghost”)
Grapnel D6, Hydraulics D6, Jumping D6, Running D6, Stealth Camo D8
The Ghost-class Exoframe was developed with stealthy covert operations in mind. It boasts an active optic camouflage ability that renders the wearer nearly invisible to unaided eyes. This Exoframe is worn by Edelweiss assassin Nightshade and the spirit medium sniper Blackthorn who also wears a Chameleon cloak to supplement the suit’s stealth camouflage system.
EXOFRAME– ASSAULT CLASS (“Titan “)
Armor D8, Grapnel D6, Hydraulics D8, Jumping D6, Running D6
The Titan is the first Exoframe utilized by the Edelweiss and no doubt the heaviest. The latter drawback is offset by additional actuators that allow the user a much higher degree of strength than the other Exoframe classes. The frame’s most noticeable difference is its detachable armor plates that provide better protection against small arms fire than the Disinfestor standard ballistic vests. The current users of the Titan-class Exoframe are the heavy weapons specialist Lavender and pyro soldier Marigold.
EXOFRAME–SUPPORT CLASS (“Valkyrie”)
ECM D8, Grapnel D6, Hydraulics D6, Jumping D6, Running D6, Trophy System D8
The Valkyrie series of Exoframes is favoured by support-oriented Edelweiss demolitionist Gentian and pilot and technician Rosemary. Built to Gentian’s specifications, the suit has an ECM emitter that can negate all unprotected electronic devices in an area. The frame also has a “Trophy System” that uses compressed air and other countermeasures to deflect incoming grenades and guided missiles.
EXOFRAME– MEDIC CLASS (“Archangel”)
Grapnel D6, Hydraulics D6, Jumping D6, Running D6, Shield D8
Dubbed as the medic class series of Exoframes, the Archangel’s pneumatic joints provides the wearer with a deployable portable plexiglass shield gives added protection best suited for situations where the user has to aid a teammate in the open and under fire. The CEO of SHADOW Foxglove prefers this frame and the same goes for Edelweiss medic and sharpshooter Anemone.
Currently, a variety of Exoframe prototypes are still being tested both in and outside extreme combat situations. Little by little, the flaws are being dealt with and it is slowly gaining the acceptance of its wearers. It remains an exclusive piece of hardware in the Kill Team’s armory and Foxglove has no plans to mass produce it, although suits are being field-tested by the other units of SHADOW.