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SYSTEMatics are highly advanced suits of battle armor developed by SYSTEM, a malevolent international conspiracy that secretly rules the world. These battlesuits are equipped with formidable weapons systems and tend to be monstrous in appearance as an aid in psychologi
SYSTEMatics are highly advanced suits of battle armor developed by SYSTEM, a malevolent international conspiracy that secretly rules the world. These battlesuits are equipped with formidable weapons systems and tend to be monstrous in appearance as an aid in psychological warfare.
SYSTEMatics are deployed to covertly eliminate threats that SYSTEM cannot deal with through conventional means: bribery, blackmail, intimidation, etc. Their most frequent target are superheroes like the Shadow Cabinet, who directly or indirectly thwart SYSTEM's schemes. These suits are also used to protect secret SYSTEM bases throughout the globe. Yet, due to rampant paranoia and lust for power among SYSTEM cell leaders, it is not uncommon for SYSTEMatics to be used in conflicts between rival cells.
SYSTEMatics are extremely expensive to produce and thus are owned by the wealthiest SYSTEM cells. Furthermore, the suits are only piloted by the most experienced and loyal soldiers in a given cell.
Most SYSTEMatics fall under one of three categories: mass-produced, custom-built and prototypes. Each category is in turn broken down according to class. When necessary, the description of each class of SYSTEMatic will highlight features distinguishing it from others in its category.
Mass-produced SYSTEMatics are the most common and numerous type of SYSTEMatic. As indicated by their name, these suits are identical in appearance and capabilities; for this reason, a SYSTEM cell will often paint their SYSTEMatics to distinguish them from those of other cells. The armor of these SYSTEMatics is composed of a classified bulletproof alloy. The suits' standard features include a strength-enhancing exoskeleton, full life support, a communications array, helmet mounted searchlights, and a sensor suite (thermal, chemical, etc.)..
- Soldier Class
- The Soldier Class is among the oldest mass-produced SYSTEMatics still in service. Typically, the Soldier Class model stands at 9' and resembles a bizarre humanoid crustacean. hence their nickname, "lobsters." Its longevity can be attributed to a reliable and adaptable design that continues to influence newer suits. The Soldiers' value was demonstrated when a squad of them successfully collected unexploded tear gas grenades and mutated survivors (later called Bang Babies) in the aftermath of Dakota City's Big Bang event. Scientists for SYSTEM: Amber then experimented on the Soldiers' spoils to isolate and replicate the mutagen Quantum Juice that caused the Bang.
- The Soldier Class is equipped with hardpoints on its forearms, on which can be mounted a variety of mission-specific weapons. Standard armaments include lasers and miniature cannons that fire explosive shells. For search and capture missions, Soldier Class suits can be outfitted with non-lethal weapons such as netguns, "bug spray" (a very potent knockout gas), and "web spray" (which envelops a person in a transparent, very tough plastic-like material). These SYSTEMatics' mounted weapons are often supplemented with handguns that are oversized in proportion to the armor. The guns can vaporize a Soldier Class model with a single shot. In the event of capture, the Soldier models are equipped with a self-destruct mechanism that is activated by remote.
- The one major flaw of the Soldier Class is the transparent faceplate that lowers into place to seal the suit when operating in toxic environments. The faceplate is less durable than the rest of the armor and easy to breach, a weakness the Blood Syndicate exploited in their first battle with the SYSTEMatics.
- Flight Class
- The Flight Class SYSTEMatic was developed from the Soldier Class suit, which it greatly resembles at first glance. However, the Flight model stands a foot taller to accommodate its most significant improvement, jet boot thrusters enabling flight. Another difference was the removal of the helmet's transparent faceplate, thus giving pilots much better protection against injury. This change would prove to be a hit, becoming standard in all SYSTEMatics afterward. Compared to the Soldier model, the Flight Class SYSTEMatic features less variety in its arsenal, relying mainly on miniature cannons and guns that fire lengths of weighted chains to ensnare opponents. Nevertheless, the Flight Class model has quickly rivaled its predecessor as the standard-issue SYSTEMatic.
- Though intended for SYSTEM's exclusive use, Flight Class SYSTEMatics do sometimes fall into the hands of parties outside of the organization. Such was the case when Indigo Leader Edwin Alva secretly loaned a suit to the USS, a private scientific think tank, in exchange for them sharing their scientific discoveries with Indigo. The USS stationed the Flight armor at their main Antarctic base, Foundation, to augment its defenses. This SYSTEMatic was later destroyed when it was dispatched to defend another USS outpost from an attack by the Shadow Cabinet.
Custom-built SYSTEMatics are created by a SYSTEM cell for its exclusive use. As a result, these suits are identified by the cell's color. These SYSTEMatics are larger than those in the first category with much greater strength. Their armor is thicker as well, enabling them to easily shrug off Hardware's explosive Omnicannon shells. The Custom-Built SYSTEMatics' most useful feature is the jet boots that enable them to fly at subsonic speeds.
Beyond these features, Custom-built SYSTEMatics are quite diverse in terms of appearance and capabilities. Expensive even by SYSTEMatic standards, use of these suits is often reserved for Team Commanders, the officers who lead a cell's private army.
- Indigo Cell
- The Indigo armor stands 11' tall and is modeled after a large carnivorous dinosaur like the Tyrannosaurus. The armor is equipped with extendable, tentacle-like cables enabling its onboard computer to interface with other computers. Thus, an Indigo armor can control a computer's functions, download its data, or delete specific files. Mounted on the Indigo's right arm is a weapon pod consisting of a missile launcher with an energy cannon attached underneath. The weapon pod is linked to a heads-up display (HUD) in the helmet, which provides tracking and targeting.
- Crimson Cell
- Standing 12' tall, the Crimson models have a barbule-style helmet, giving them a more humanoid appearance compared to other SYSTEMatics. Another distinctive feature is the suit's lack of manipulators (i.e., hands); instead, each of its arms ends in a powerful energy cannon. Otherwise, the Crimson model is typical for a Custom-Built SYSTEMatic.
- A notable variant of this SYSTEMatic is the modified Crimson armor. Originally, the suit belonged to SYSTEM Crimson's Team Commander until he was defeated in battle by Hardware, who turned it over to Alva. The Crimson armor remained in SYSTEM Indigo's custody until stolen by rogue Crimson scientists. The scientists then modified the armor so it could be mentally controlled via groundbreaking SYNREP technology that they secretly copied from the work of college student Preston Dawes. They then tested the modified Crimson suit by kidnapping Dawes, brainwashing him to be its pilot, and sending him to kill Edwin Alva. However, Alva disabled the modified Crimson armor so the rogue scientists activated its self-destruct mechanism to cover their tracks. Hardware freed Dawes from the armor before it exploded and later captured the rogue scientists, whom Alva planned to "rehabilitate."
- The modified Crimson armor had lightning fast reflexes and speed due to its SYNREP-based control system being integrated into Dawes' nervous system. Another change was the replacement of the suit's right energy cannon with a manipulator claw. The rogue Crimson scientists also equipped the armor with a remote-activated self-destruct mechanism.
- Amber Cell
- System: Amber developed this SYSTEMatic for close quarters combat. Presumably this was in response to how poorly Amber's Soldier models fared in battle with the Blood Syndicate.
- The Amber model stands 13' tall and resembles a humanoid canine due its helmet's protruding muzzle. The suit boasts a strength-enhancing exoskeleton that is quite powerful even for a SYSTEMatic of its size. The Amber's most unique feature is its left arm, which can extend up to five times its normal length to seize things otherwise beyond its reach. The extending arm can also be used as a battering ram to smash through barriers or unlucky foes alike.
- The Amber's primary weapon is its rifle, a larger version of the handguns used by Soldier SYSTEMatics. Concealed in the suit's left hand are nozzles that can emit bug spray, web spray, or other non-lethal chemical weapons to subdue opponents it had captured.
- Unlike other Custom-built SYSTEMatics, the Amber is incapable of flight. Despite this, the Amber so impressed Amber Leader Mom that it was the preferred model used to guard the cell's main base, Garden Station.
Prototype SYSTEMatics were primarily used by SYSTEM to test new technologies that are applied to existing suits. However, some prototypes so exceed expectations that they are entered into general circulation among the cells. Due to their origin and purpose, these SYSTEMatics are the most diverse of any category.
- The SYSTEMatic-9 was SYSTEM's first known attempt at creating an unmanned SYSTEMatic, i.e., a humanoid combat robot. This project may have been developed by the Indigo cell, but this remains speculation. The concept of the SYSTEMatic-9 strongly appealed to cell leaders desiring SYSTEM soldiers who were fearless, obedient, and easily replaceable.
- However, in its first test flight, the SYSTEMatic-9 did not follow its pre-programmed commands to return to its launch site. Using their helicopter, a mercenary team hired by Edwin Alva intercepted the runaway SYSTEMatic over Paris Island and opened fire on the robot, not caring that their stray shots were injuring and killing residents below. DMZ of the Blood Syndicate halted the carnage by damaging the helicopter, whose crew died upon crash landing, and then destroying the SYSTEMatic-9. After this debacle, SYSTEM officially ended further research into unmanned SYSTEMatics.
- The SYSTEMatic-9 was rather small for a SYSTEMatic, standing just 7' tall. This was due to it being a robot, which did not require life support systems. The SYSTEMatic-9 was highly resistant to damage and could fly thanks to a pair of shoulder-mounted jet engines. All of the robot's functions were controlled by a spherical CPU which served as its "head" and was protected by an armored helmet.
- Mark III
- Tired of their numerous defeats by Hardware, SYSTEM hired criminal inventor Gizmo to design a SYSTEMatic capable of destroying the armored crime fighter. The result was the Mark III prototype armor, which a SYSTEM agent used to soundly beat Hardware in battle. What SYSTEM and Gizmo could not anticipate was the arrival of the teen hero Blue Beetle, who saved Hardware's life. Hardware then modified his armor to protect if from the Mark III's anti-Hardware weaponry. With Blue Beetle's aid, Hardware defeated the prototype as its pilot was about to sell two more Mark III suits to Intergang. Hardware then took all three SYSTEMatics back to Dakota City for study.
- Mark X
- SYSTEM was shocked by Hardware's victory over the Mark III, which was they viewed as a serious setback for the organization. Gizmo disagreed by pointing out that data from the Mark III's battle with Hardware would enable SYSTEM to develop deadlier SYSTEMatics. Furthermore, this data would be supplemented with that stolen by SYSTEM's spies while the hero was away from Dakota. On that note, Gizmo presented SYSTEM with blueprints for the SYSTEMatic Mark X, which the criminal inventor boasted was technologically a "hundred steps ahead" of the Mark III. It remains to be seen if the Mark X will live up to these expectations.
- The SYSTEMatics were among several characters to appear in the Milestone: The Dakota Universe trading card series that debuted in 1993. The SYSTEMatics appear on Card #38.
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Hardware #3
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Blood Syndicate #3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Blood Syndicate #4
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Blood Syndicate #25
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Hardware #16
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Shadow Cabinet #8
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Static #2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Blood Syndicate #2
- ↑ Shadow Cabinet #15
- ↑ Shadow Cabinet #0
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Shadow Cabinet #9
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Shadow Cabinet #6
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Hardware #4
- ↑ Hardware #22
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Hardware #23
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Hardware #24
- ↑ Blood Syndicate #19
- ↑ Blood Syndicate #21
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Blood Syndicate #22
- ↑ Blood Syndicate #24
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 Blood Syndicate #18
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Brave and the Bold (Volume 3) #25