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Chapter 3:
                                                Components


October 18 (Tuesday)
2253 HRS
Home

The first volume explains most of what I needed to know; that CAUSE was a
joint effort to develop mob-control protection for law enforcement using
advanced alloys developed by Crey Industries, Ramjet energy-expulsion
technology, and existing defense systems owned by the U.S. Government.  
Apparently, parts were manufactured all over the country, brought to Paragon
City and assembled in a lab beneath the Stanley Tower in Steel Canyon.

According to the notebooks, the project started in 2002 with six scientists
and progressed steadily until Ramage’s death on March 12th of this year when
there was a staff of over 30.  There is no mention of any testing,
shipments, deliveries or conversations after that date.  The last entry in
Volume 26: Final Phase was written by Dr. Wendleman and is dated March 11,
2004.  It states,

“Ramage insists on being in the suit.  We cannot dissuade him.  Many of us
feel that although this test is for the electro-ligature connections and
backup systems only, Ramage may try to activate the suit’s main power and
call the thunder.  At this late stage the suit is almost fully operational,
with all systems at the control of the operator.  Although the suit has far,
far exceeded our expectations, we feel there is still danger.  We believe
Ramage has lost objectivity and may attempt to continue to Final Phase Test
Omega.  We have complained to Michaels, who only looked to Cumberland for
his cue.  Cumberland did nothing, of course.  Not even Clay can convince him
to stop the test.  Delivery of the test suit is less than a week away and we
cannot afford any more delays, but Ramage’s ambition is a variable which may
prove fatal to the project, not to mention himself, should anything go
awry.”

Not sure what “call the thunder” means, but it’s clearly tied to Final Phase
Test Omega, which I assume was one of the last tests in the project.  For
all I know, calling the thunder is what killed Ramage and ended the project,
like Wendleman predicted.




October 19 (Wednesday)
0240 HRS
Home

I just put the undersuit on again.  It never stopped pulsing the whole time.
  I found notebook 2, the one marked “Components” and have arranged the suit
pieces on my bed.  I think I understand now how the suit is supposed to
work.  The undersuit is the “skin” which provides a conduit through which my
brain and body can talk to the cybersuit.  The cybernetics built into the
undersuit communicate with the cybernetics in the cybersuit.  Neurological
impulses from my brain pass through the undersuit to the actuators in the
cybersuit to produce the desired effect, whether it’s walking, running or
jumping – or something else, like firing a weapon, or performing a take down
move on a rioter, etc.

The suit is not actually powered by my muscles.  It’s powered by actuators –
metal rods acting as muscles – built into the suit.  These “muscles” are
remarkable.  They mimic the movement of real human muscles and are powered
by the suit’s batteries, two miniature electro-atomic generators, one
located under each thigh.  The armor covers the actuators, protecting the
musculature and cybernetic filaments from the damage of impact, moisture and
electricity.

In all ways the suit is designed to react to the impulses of the wearer, to
augment the wearer’s strength, speed, power and agility.  Whatever you can
do in a track suit, you can do in the cybersuit, only faster and with more
power.

It’s heavy, too, but when it’s powered up the actuators compensate for the
extra weight, bringing the “operational weight” of wearer and suit down to a
set formula: wearer’s weight + 30 pounds.  So, theoretically, even though
I’ll have an 85 pound armored suit on, I’ll weight only about 220 pounds
instead of 275.

The whole thing’s made from a variety of metals and alloys.  The armor
plating is made from something called Riktanium, which I’ve never heard of
before, but seems to be a combination of titanium and a metal called
Riktium.  I don’t know what Riktium is, but I think I can add the Rikti to
the growing list of groups who’ve had a hand in this suit.  The rest is made
up of Kevlar, titano-steel, Techneuron filament, Durafoam and Pactolon.

There are several other systems built into the suit, too.  Ventilation,
targeting, defense, diagnostics and propulsion.  Also something called the
Macro-Adaptive Computer, whatever that is.  I hope the notebooks explain it.
  I hope they explain everything, but they are so hastily written and in
places so difficult to read I wonder if I’ll make any sense of them at all.

Maybe somewhere in all those scattered pages it’ll tell me why I’m doing
this.

Have to get some sleep.  I have a cop’s funeral to attend tomorrow.




October 20 (Thursday)
1349 HRS
Home

Took the day off today.  Len’s services were nice, but it took a lot out of
me.  He had a wife and two young kids.  I swear if I ever find out who
ambushed him in his patrol car they’ll wish they were never born.  The
funeral made me think of Cassidy.  When she was born I was a young cop
trying to impress everybody – to make a name for myself on the street.  I
never considered that I might be taken from her.  She’s 12 now and I’m
realizing a lot of things I never considered before.

I never considered that I might be sitting in my patrol car near the park
eating a sandwich my wife made for me and some Dyne job would come up from
behind and put a knife through my neck.  That’s what happened to Les.  He
was a good man, a good father.  I am past being mad.  This whole senseless
circus makes me tired.

I have decided to channel my energy toward the suit today.  Maybe I’ll make
progress.  Maybe it’ll just help me forget how helpless I feel.

There is much to do and much to read.  I’ve organized the loose pages into
piles pertaining to the different notebook volumes.  It should help me keep
things straight and provide a reference base.

As I sip my coffee and look out my fifth floor window into the driving rain,
I can see the giant statue of Minotaur in the distance.  It is frozen in
mid-stride, grey against a grayer sky, as if locked in time.  That’s how I
feel; locked in time, like I’m getting one last chance to remember things as
they were before it all changes irreversibly and forever.

But I am no Minotaur.  I don’t have the power to stand fast against all odds
and dare them to move me.  I am just a man, a very tired man who wants to
have the energy to take action but at the end of the day finds that it’s
gone, robbed from him by the uncountable injustices I have no power to stop.

I have decided to put on the suit.  If I don’t do it now I may never have
the nerve again.


TO CHAPTER 4 >


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