Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Saurian Tech--Karn Light Infantry Gear: Armor

Shnakvorum Rikoyoch,

Book Update from S-Man: Nothing like exploding Chihuahua-lizard-like-creatures to make things interesting. I'm in the final chapters of Starfire now. And there has been surprise after surprise cropping up. It seems like every time my fingers start typing one of the characters does something I wasn't expecting! But that just makes things even more exciting. Really can't wait until all of you get to experience this story first hand.

Over the next few entries I'm gonna look at the battle-gear worn by the Karnian Light Infantry, the branch of the military that the protagonist, Rathe, is in. The light infantry are fast response shock troops, generally used in hit and fade strikes and harassment behind enemy lines. Not quite special forces, but the next best thing.

Due to the fact that each soldier is responsible for outfitting his own gear, every Light Infantry Saurn will have a slightly different set-up, based on personal preference and role within a Light Infantry Spur (squad). However, there is a basic commonality. For the purposes of this series I'm going to be focusing on Rathe's battle-gear. Starting with the armor.

There are three basic pieces of Light Infantry armor. The battle pack (ketal bor), the chest & belly guard (tathnak), and the gauntlets (ikaryoch).

The battle pack is made of a flexible, but sturdy material and holds all of the essential rations, personal effects and other field equipment necessary for a mission. The pack covers from the shoulders to the base of the tail, held in place by a series of straps that run under the arms and legs, and across the chest, waist and base of the tail. There are also usually two thigh flaps that provide protection for the upper leg and also sport pouches for quick access to (relatively) small items.

Standard battle packs have between 8-12 compartments (in addition to any thigh pouches). Most can only be accessed when the pack is removed, or by a fellow spur-mate. In Rathe's case his pack has 12 compartments, most of which are used for spur rations and extra ammo for their heavy weapons member.

The tathnak is made of a similar material as the battle-pack, but is thicker and much more flexible. It is designed to thwart blades, claws and shrapnel. It is usually at least two to three inches thick, and attaches to the straps of the battle pack, giving a solid layer of protection from the neck to the tail, completely covering the vulnerable underbelly. Early on in Starfire, Rathe's tathnak is put to use in thwarting a vicious kick during a fight, one that would have incapacitated him at the very least.

The final, and in some ways, most crucial bit of armor are the gauntlets. Gauntlets are arm protection that covers the back of the hand and forearm in a solid protective shell. Most gauntlets also have built in magnetic seals that are used in conjunction with Karnian blades as a way to prevent disarming. (I'll talk more about this function during the weapons segment). Some gauntlets also feature expandable shields, but Light Infantry tend to prefer dual wielding or polearms.

But one thing is standard in every soldiers gauntlets (one of them anyway) and that is their Personal Combat Computer. This is a rather simple device, something like you might find in a PDA here on Earth. Basically it stores topographical maps, mission essential data and positioning coordinates using triangulation. It also serves as a communications device between the spur and the chain of command. It can be used within the spur, usually through text. Voice is used, more often, Light Infantry spurs communicate vocally over distances through a complex battle code.

That basically sums up the armor. As you probably noticed, the Light Infantry have very sparse armor, focusing much more on stealth, speed and surprise to avoid any straight up fights. But even when forced into combat, their skill with their weapons makes them deadly adversaries. And that's what we'll look at next time.

-- S-man

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Whatever happened to plain ol' swords and guns?
Posted by Anonymous jake tremaine : 9:06 AM
Oh, my, Ted! This is what you're doing all day over at that table of yours in Java Joint? Inventing military gear? And I thought you were such a peaceful guy!
Posted by Anonymous angie brendt : 9:07 AM
Hi, S-Man! This is a cool post. Can't want to read your book!
Posted by Anonymous carly suggs : 10:37 AM

The Saurian physiology isn't suited to swords as we humans know them. But you'll learn more about Saurian weaponry in my next entry, or that's the plan anyway. As for guns, Saurians tended toward magnetic propulsion rather than the explosives that we use. Silent, no spent casings and allows for more mass in the projectile itself at very high speeds. But that's for the next entry as well.


I definetly prefer peace, but when writing stories that deals with the military and times of war, implements of warfare are one of those necessary things that must be accounted for. Both from a practical standpoint and a cultural standpoint.

Glad you liked the post Carly, hope you get to read the book soon too!

Posted by Blogger S-man : 11:56 AM
Hmm, sparse armor and naked warriors. *winks* Good thing they have speed and stealth on their side so no one catches a peek. :)
Posted by Blogger Tiff/Amber Miller : 4:41 PM
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