70 The Steambandi
Designed to counter the strong but slow-moving Steambot, the Streambandit was a lightweight exoskeleton battlesuit that had weapons mounted on both hands. The classic design had one hand firing a high-powered projectile with low-firing rate, while the other had a quick-firing but low-powered gun. The Streambandit also had an aim-assist system that helped the operator target the enemy at long range.
However, what made the Streambandit famous were the twin thrusters at the soles of the feet. The thrusters allowed the operator to leap a short distance, mostly to get out of range of the opponent, but at full power, the thrusters also allowed the battlesuit to hover in the air for a short period of time. An extremely rare battlesuit function in the Age of Steam, many historians argued that the Steambandit was the first battlesuit in history to incorporate such a function into the design.
I wasn't sure if it was the first battlesuit to have a hovering function, but the thrusters did make the Streambandit famous. Operators would often use the thrusters to leap out of danger and even when cornered, they had the option of escaping into the air. Many operators considered the Streambandit the go-to battlesuit against the more illustrious Streambot, and often just kite the opponent into submission.
This method of fighting wasn't widely accepted in the Age of Steam and many people during that time considered operators of the Streambandit 'cowardly' for employing such a tactic. It gave the battlesuit a bit of a bad reputation, but I doubt it would be an issue now. Nowadays, we called the tactic 'smart'. I paid the DP for the battlesuit and began working.
First thing I did was to upgrade the aim assist. The idea I had required the battlesuit to be able to operate at a very long range, and the antique aim assist that came with the Streambandit just won't cut it. The Streambandit was an exoskeleton battlesuit, and as per the norm in the Age of Steam, the face of the operator was not covered by battlesuit. Once activated, a pair of glasses would instead pop down to the eye level of the operator, and the operator would look through it for the assist. Something like this was just not acceptable in the modern day.
I went into Dive to search for a better pair of aim assist. After about an hour, I found it in the Nox Headgear. Instead of a pair of glasses that could pop up and down, the Nox Headgear was a helmet. It came with a series of functions including communications, higher sensory functions, and an aim assist. Not bad for a Grade Two sensory helmet. It was also fully compatible with a series of technology including Steam, so it was a no-brainer for me to select it.
I took out the original aim assist and installed the Nox Headgear. Now, replacing an aim assist wasn't the same as replacing a weapon. The headgear not only need to be link to the operating rig, it must also be linked to the weapon system. It was a lot of work, and one of the reasons why I had not touched on the sensory functions of any of my variants yet, but I felt ready for the challenge. I left the headgear alone for the moment and focus on the weapons. I had to replace them.
The Streambandit had weapons instead of hands, and I had to change that. Operators in the modern era referred hands for their versatility, so I need to change the weapons into functioning hands. Luckily, I had some experience in this. I did something similar when I designed the Decimator, and this was a far easier job.
When I designed the Decimator, I had to change the structure of the fists and create new pathways to link the hands to the operating rig. The Streambandit didn't have hands at all. I just took out the weapons and install two new functioning hands to the battlesuit. The Dive was full of hand parts that used Steam technology, so I just took a strong pair that costed nothing and installed it on my variant. The new hands also came with pre-made pathways, so I just had to link them to the operating rig.
After this came the weapons. I wanted my variant to have weapons that were vastly superior to the weapons of the original Streambandit so I went into Dive to look for a long-ranged high-powered weapon system. I found what I was looking for in the Edgar RR.
Short for the Edgar Ray Rifle, the Edgar RR was a sniper rifle that could shoot a ray beam that had a range of up to three kilometers. Although ray weapons only really came into vogue during the Age of the Atom, ray weaponry had a long history. The first aircrafts that were invented by man were airships and people soon found out that shooting bullets and musket balls on them were a bad idea. One bad shot could lead to the whole airship going down, killing hundreds in the process. In came the first ray guns.
Unlike normal projectiles that attempted to go through their targets, ray weapons only harm the internals of the target. The first ray guns were basically highly focused x-rays that caused radiation and internal bleeding, and they were the weapon of choice when you did not want to cause any environment damage fighting in an enclosed area. Modern improvement had made them just as effective against machinery.
According to Dive, the Edgar RR could fry the internals circuitry of any target short of a space cruiser, and depending on the armor of the target, it could also harm the personal within. I nodded my head in acceptance. It wasn't a hard idea to understand. With a good shot, the ray beam could damage the internals of the opposing battlesuit, and the operator within if he was located within the flight of the shot. The only reason why ray weapons weren't more popular was because of the low firing rates, but that's hardly an issue with a sniper rifle.