The lore behind the mechanics of the power armor. THIS LORE IS SPECIFIC TO PACYOA:TE AND IS NON-AFFILIATED WITH PACYOA:AD.
General Mechanics and Functions of Power Armor Edit
Power Armor, known colloquially as "suits", are mechanized exoskeleton extensions of a user's body and mind. Suits were created from technologically given to humanity by the Vannai, an alien race requiring a new world to settle on. The suits are created as an extension and manifestation of the user's will and mind, and as such the suit adopts traits, weapons, and abilities based on the many minor and subconscious thoughts that populate the suit user's mind. Due to the mechanics of the suit, it can be adjusted via mechanical methods, but goes through major changes as a readjustment of the mindset of the user. This process, in which a suit adapts and adjusts itself to the new construction and formulation that the user wants, can take anywhere from 4 to 8 days. The user must be present inside their suit during this process, and will slip into a coma-like state while the suit changes itself.
Suits do not require their users to be in them to function, nor do the users require their suits to function normally. Suits, being an extension of the user's will, remain as they are when the user exits it, and can be placed in storage or can be manually and mechanically adjusted during this time. A suit cannot change itself without a user present and a specific change in mindset (see above), but mechanical and electrical tools and equipment do somewhat work on the suits. Weapons and equipment can be adjusted or moved using non-automatic processes, but due to suit construction these changes take some time and effort to perform. This can be helpful, however, if users intend to simply swap out weapons or perform basic maintenance. This can cut what might take at least 4 days in a comatose state to 3 hours while fully conscious and functional.
Suits themselves are created out of a working relationship between two major components, which are found in the two major components of the power armor, that being the user and the armor itself. Within the armor, the suit is formulated and almost entirely developed around a substance called Sludge. This inky black substance, very rare to find in pure form, is a highly adaptive, energy-rich substance that was developed by the Vannai. Sludge has a higher energy density than anything found on Earth, and even Tumblr Engineers are baffled at understanding exactly what Sludge is or how it is created. In pure form, this substance is highly toxic and radiologically unstable, and is extremely deadly to human beings. The Sludge however, can only work towards developing and creating a suit by operating with the user themselves. Nanites, injected into every AC, Moqaddas, Hanse, and GI suit (as well as all TA and Reddit suits) assist the Sludge in forming a certain way and performing certain actions at the will of the user. These nanites sometimes give alternate benefits, but overall serve as a catalyst and amplify the thoughts of the user. With the reveal of the Tumblr Engineers, however, it has been suggested that Sludge simply requires willpower through the extension of a suit to function, instead of specifically needing nanites. Nanites, just like Sludge, have the appearance of a shiny black liquid.
The nanites, designated separately, are in groups according to the effects on the human body and mind. Based from Vannai lifeblood, the substance which replaces the need for energy through consumption, there are three main divisions of nanites. The first - counting backwards as AO-9/8/7/6 are all injected in the humanity-aligned suits (excluding Tumblr Engineers). These nanites are designed to elicit feelings of valor, heroism, and glory within the user. These nanites were originally used to give the "protagonist" suits a feeling of glory in battle, so as to expedite the war among humanity and kill off humanity faster. This has since backfired, however, as the humans are now in a feeling of glory against the Vannai themselves. The second division - counting backwards as AO-5/4/3/2 are all injected into TA and some Reddit suits. These nanites prevent and block feelings of empathy or sympathy, and cause extreme emotional discharge among those it is given to, prompting unwarranted feelings of extreme aggression and reckless abandon. The fearless and hivemind-like qualities of the TA are assumed to be somewhat connected to the Vannai themselves, not so much the people under AO-5 control. Finally, the third division - simply AO-1, is a special variant of the nanite formula. Turning humans into "elves", this substance blends what appears to be Vannai genetics with human genetics, forming a hybrid. Elves are functionally superior to humans, but are ostracized and commonly are forced to hide signs of "elven" qualities due to their extremely close connection to the Vannai.
Sludge is an extremely energy-rich substance. This substance, used to power the suits, has developed in many unique ways, mostly thanks to humanity themselves. Sludge, in the most straightforward definition possible, is a mimic substance. Sludge adopts the qualities and material properties of other substances and materials through processes that appear scientifically impossible from a modern understanding of chemistry and physics. Regardless, this substance develops and mimics itself, and becomes almost identical (at a molecular level) to the substance it is imitating. This has fallen under debate, however, as the substance, when in an alternate form, requires contact with pure Sludge to revert to its prior form and reconstruct itself. The substance does not perfectly imitate the chosen substances, however, as non-Sludge substances cannot revert into Sludge when put in contact with the pure form. In short, if a piece of iron and Sludge that is imitating a piece of iron are placed side by side, they are practically identical, so far as being identical at a molecular level. However, when exposed to pure Sludge, only the imitation of iron becomes Sludge. The science behind this is hard to nail down, even after weeks of study.
Sludge powers power armor, which allows for large suits with superweapons and massive amounts of required energy to function with otherwise miniscule energy packs in relation to the amount of power required. Sludge acts as this energizing substance, and performs every function the suit requires, from self-maintenance, to locomotion, to weaponry, to electronics and digital display. Energy weapons feed directly from the power source, as do thrusters, electronics, and internal mechanics. In the case of ballistic weapons and rocketry, the sludge develops the bullets within the weapon itself, which depletes Sludge and therefore energy, but allows the user to fire bullets and missiles without needing to reload, as the ammunition creates itself within the weapon.
Sludge As A Pure Substance (And Other Notes) Edit
Pure Sludge can usually only be found in the energy packs of suits, and even then retrieving such a liquid is extremely risky, as the substance is unstable to a point where attempting to retrieve it without a suit there to stabilize it internally would provide an extreme risk of detonation, destroying the Sludge and potentially injuring the retriever in the process. Because of this, Tumblr Engineers have given very specific warnings about handling and dealing with the inner mechanics and extremities of suits, including and especially Sludge. TE has secured Pure Sludge and keeps amounts of it handy for testing and general energy usage, but is very strict about refusing access to giving information about the storage facility of these secured samples. As demonstrated early on in Vancouver, though, even a non-suited person can potentially get their hands on Sludge.
Pure Sludge cannot affect the body due to the construction of the suit. In all cases, the suits have a special construction to ensure that Sludge does not come in contact with the human body and is kept stabilized by multiple components of the suit itself. Pure Sludge should almost never be used as a weapon due to the extreme energy potentially contained within the substance. Referring again to early missions, the disaster and damage in Vancouver was caused from a relatively small container of Sludge. The substance should not be handled by anyone outside of Tumblr Engineer technicians and the functions of the suit itself.
Human physiology cannot sustain itself if it comes in contact with Sludge. Provided the substance does not immediately detonate, Pure Sludge would cause immediate sickness in the body, resulting in common symptoms of acute radiological disorder. Touch contact can potentially warrant death within 36 hours. Contact with the Pure Sludge at a distance can be survived, but causes symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to seizures, ataxia, and complete organ failure. Needless to say, Tumblr Engineers will commonly give instructions on procedures in the event of potential contact. The long term effects of Sludge and the human body are not known due to lack of time studied.
The effects of Sludge in imitated forms over time show interesting developments in the molecular composition of the material. If in an imitated form, Sludge imitations will eventually stabilize into the material itself. In this instance, if a suit fires a bullet that has been developed via Sludge imitation, the bullet will remain in whatever form it imitates when it hits the intended target or alternatively misses and hits the ground. Seeing as bullets and shrapnel are rarely cleaned and retrieved, Tumblr Engineers have found that Sludge imitations, over time, will stabilize to become the substance they are imitating. Therefore, if the imitation of a material for a bullet remains in the ground for an extended period of time, eventually the imitation will fully stabilize and simply become the metal itself. Early signs of stabilization show that this is the case but there has been no documented case of a fully stabilized imitation.
Sludge cannot be formulated into edible, injectable, or otherwise consumable products. Sludge can imitate consumable substances, but they are toxic by nature and may warrant minor radiological poisoning. Therefore, bring your own beverage from the base instead of having your suit make you one the fly. Suits of all sizes do not detonate in the manner that Pure Sludge might when destroyed, even by explosive force, as the suit stabilizes the compound pre-detonation. Tumblr Engineers have not found a way to turn off this failsafe, and don't want to. Pure Sludge, in containment, should be kept stable through numerous components such as but not limited to pressurization, temperature control, and special sealing.
Power Armor Weaponry in Relation to Sludge Edit
Sludge, acting as a mimic substance, has been found to have an interesting effect with weaponry. Suit pilots never reload their weapons, despite many of those weapons being based on conventional firearms - weapons which, by nature, have detachable ammunition supplies. It has been found that the weapons themselves, already products of Sludge acting within the confines of suit construction, produce all the internal components to weaponry as well. In this case, Sludge not only is the substance of which forms the weapon, but is also the substance that powers the weapon and forms the ammunition. In the case of ballistic and explosive weaponry, the Sludge uses its mimic-type properties to replicate the weapon's most ideal round and fires it after creation. Weapons do not need to reload and do not have detachable ammunition in this instance because the rounds being fired are created in the action of firing itself. Energy weaponry, as well as weaponry under special properties, use the energy output of the Sludge itself in a more stabilized form, yet still much less stable than something such as armor plating or digital systems. This partially-stabilized form of Sludge allows the energy within the weapon to adopt special properties, causing an effect similar to the "lasers" and "black holes" which the weapons fire.
In the case of ballistic and explosive weaponry, as well as weapons that leave lasting effects or residual energy, the Sludge abides by the same rules of stabilization stated above. A bullet that is fired and remains away from the central suit will eventually stabilize into the material or element that it is replicating. This applies with shrapnel, residual weapon effects, and weapon parts, as well as pieces of the suit which may fall of in direct combat. Sludge used as a direct weapon in pure form has not been tested enough to understand the principles behind its effects, outside of T. Engineer testing and the disaster at Vancouver.
Weapons, despite not needing to reload, still must function as according to energy available. Due to the unknown properties of Sludge, it cannot be confirmed yet seems highly likely that Sludge cannot reform or draw a certain level of energy/substance within a certain timeframe. Weapons of which fire larger rounds, produce higher energy discharge, or otherwise have elements which stand above conventional weaponry may require a "cooldown" period in which weapons cannot or do not fire, despite user input. Ammo Generation appears to be higher with weapons that have conventional methods of fire, shoot simpler rounds that are being fired, require less energy to function, and can recycle or use surrounding environmental factors to assist the firing process.
Nanites In Connection To Human Physiology Edit
The nanite formulas AO-9/-/2 have had strange effects on the human body, and have warranted other potential effects on the human body. The nanite formula appears to intermix within the human bloodstream, and changes the human body in minor ways to adjust to the nanite substance. The current information known of nanites and the effects on the human body begin with the knowledge that nanites self-stabilize and the specialized nanite formulas stabilize the body when they make adjustments. In this instance, those with the Hydra nanite specialization have gained bodies that self-repair at rapid rates thanks to nanite infusion at a cellular level acting as a catalyst, which is transferred through skin oils and secretions in the skin in the instance of Hydra II. Those with the Mycelium nanite specialization have nanites that automate the energy processes from their suits (not as Sludge, but rather the byproduct of Sludge) into rejuvenating and supplying energy to the body. Mycelium II suggests that the nanites use sunlight as solar energy to carry out the same technical process.
Nanites and how they connect to the Vannai is unknown, even to Tumblr Engineers. The Vannai somehow gain thoughts and processes via nanites, rather than the suits themselves. This could be a suit/nanite conjunction process, but there is no evidence to back this theory up.
Those with the AO-1 formula of nanites have been genetically readjusted with Vannai lifeblood, or a certain type of lifeblood that does not warrant the effects found with direct lifeblood contact. Instead, this reproductive agent mixed with human physiological qualities produces a hybrid, known as an "elf" (this jargon was adopted due to the signature long ears that are gained from this process). Elves have certain qualities, such as an extended lifespan and increased physical and mental abilities in contrast of basic human physiology. This is apparently due to "elven" physiology being made up of a different formulation of cells, resulting in different skin, muscle, nerve, and organ tissues, which appear to possess increased adaptive potential from their human counterparts.
Spatial Logistics of Power Armor Edit
One of the functional aspects of Power Armor is the Collapsible ability, in which a suit of power armor can be collapsed and worn in contrast to being placed in storage or simply hung up (in the case of a mesh). This technology is thanks to the Sludge and Vannai technological qualities, which can redirect the suit's mass and size into a spatial anomaly, that being something akin to a "pocket dimension", which stores the excess Sludge lost in collapsing elsewhere from the user. When the suit is "unpacked", it rebuilds itself to the state it was when it was placed in its collapsed state. Collapsed suits cannot make major changes (see General Mechanics and Functions of Power Armor, paragraph 1).
However, due to spatial limitations with the suit as a function of mass to size, there are multiple tiers of while suits can fall into based on the size of the worn/held object which the suit compresses into and the size and mass of the suit itself. With regards to the spatial anomaly handling a large amount of the gruntwork, collapsed objects can be small (a ring, dog tags, a knife, etc.), medium (a backpack, a lower/upper body cover, etc.), or large (a hatchback sedan, a survival pod, etc.). Suit size and object size work together in tiers, based on the amount of mass that must be retrieved from the anomaly itself. Putting together suit and object size will determine the amount of time required for a full "unpack". Collapsible objects are not intrinsically programmed to determine whether or not it is safe for a suit to reconstruct itself in relation to the surrounding environment, but can be easily programmed to do so.
Mesh suits have an unpacking factor of 0. Light suits have an unpacking factor of 1. Medium suits have an unpacking factor of 2. Heavy suits have an unpacking factor of 3. Fortresses, being the size of small buildings in some cases, have an unpacking factor of 5. Small objects detract 0 from the unpacking factor. Medium objects detract 2. Large objects detract 4. Unpacking factor 0 would allow a suit to reconstruct in a matter of seconds, 1 would allow a suit to reconstruct in about 30 seconds, 2 would allow a suit to reconstruct in about 2 minutes, 3 would allow a suit to reconstruct in about 5 minutes, 4 would allow a suit to reconstruct in 15 minutes, and 5 would allow a suit to reconstruct in 45 minutes. Negative unpacking factors act at the same speed as 0. Meshes and light suits cannot collapse into a large object.
Sludge: It's a really dark, black liquid that makes the suits do things.
Nanites: They look like a dark, black liquid that makes your body do things with the suit.
Power Armor: Powered mecha suits. You don't need to be told this.