Adam Murton takes us through the Boromite’s equipment and adds an interesting twist!
In hindsight, the sound which had woken Ghinir was the scraping of his mag-gun being dragged from the side of his bunk. He liked to keep it close at hand – well, you can never be too careful. As he reached out from his covers, he realised he was too late: the gun was gone. He leapt to his feet, bunching his gnarled fists and activating his dermal nano‐transmitters. Like most Boromites, his scaly hide was dotted with reflex shielding nodes. When mining or working in any hazardous environment, it was useful to be able to put armour on in an instant. Hyper compressed armour sections were released from the dermal nodes and nanites knitted these together seamlessly. By the time he was upright he was ready for a fight.
|Type of Armour||Res Bonus|
Like all Boromites, Ghinir’s eyes were quick to adjust to the gloom – as if within a mine – so could rapidly make out who woke him. To his surprise, it was the familiar figure of Thurrid, the Rock-Father of his guild, with two battle hardened bodyguards behind him. He had no idea why they had come into his chamber in the middle of the night, but it was unlikely to be good news. Indeed, the three plasma carbines aimed at his chest suggested it was most definitely bad news.
“Two points, Ghinir,” said Thurrid. “Firstly, I know you have betrayed us; secondly, you may choose the method of your demise.” Thurrid was renowned for being brusque and to the point, but this was taking the reputation to the extreme.
“Honourable Father, there has—”
Thurrid cut him off with a sneer. “You may deny it if you wish, but then I choose how you die and, well…” He chuckled. “Let’s say the rockbroods are hungry.”
“Teheck’n Kaha,” Ghinir swore under his breath. A pack of lavamites would be deadly enough with their spit and sharp stalagmite like teeth, but being fed to their larger cousins the rockbroods would be an agonising death, although not a slow one. The rockbrood were faster across the ground, would get more attacks in and their bite was stronger. Unlike the handlers, Ghinir wouldn’t have a lectro lash with its multiple strikes to fend them off in hand to hand (or should that be hand to claw) combat.
|Weapon||– Range –|
|Lectro Lash (Standard)||Hand to hand only||–||3xSV1||–|
|Lectro Lance (Standard)||Hand to hand only||–||1xSV2||–|
No, getting fed to the lavan creatures was not a pleasant option.
|Hatchling swarm||4||5||5||6||7||6||5||Lava spit SV1, 3 attacks SV1, Beast|
|Rockdog||5||5||5||6||7||6||5||Lava spit SV2, 3 attacks SV2, Savage strike, Beast|
|Rockbrood||6||6||5||7||8||6||5||Lava spit SV3, 3 attacks SV3, Savage strike, Beast|
Ghinir considered attempting to fight his way out, but he was outnumbered three to one and out-gunned. Fighting would result in his death just as surely; no, he needed time to think. As the fear dried out Ghinir’s throat, Thurrid spoke again. “Even if you have not lived like a Boromite, you could choose to die like one. You can die by the tools of our kind, the compactor maul.” He gestured outside to the passageway where Ghinir could make out the tool leaning against the rough hewn walls.
Compactor mauls were technically tools, but from a young age all Boromites learnt how to use them in combat. They were designed for stripping minerals from a rock face but in close combat they ripped away at flesh, landing twice as many blows as an unarmed fighter with significantly more power. Mauls messed opponents up – painfully – and left stripped, ugly corpses. Ghinir shuddered at the thought of his hide being stripped from his muscles, then muscles stripped from his bones.
Worse, the maul got stronger the closer you were: at this range it would hit harder than the plasma carbine Thurrid was pointing at him.
No, not that.
|Weapon||– Range –|
|Compactor Maul (Standard)||10||20||30||1×3/2/1||2xSV3||Inaccurate breaching, No Cover, Compound SV|
“Or you can die like a coward and opt for the quick death of a weapon,” said Thurrid. “I have a plasma carbine and a mag-pistol, or I could turn your own mag-gun against you. A fitting death, perhaps, given you turned against us.” Here in his chamber there wasn’t much difference between the mag pistol and the mag gun. The mag gun had better range and the mag pistol was easier to wield in close combat. However, across the width of his meagre chamber that wouldn’t matter. Both had sufficient power to overcome the reflex armour he was wearing, but only just.
The plasma carbine, however, offered a further choice: it could be used in a rapid-fire mode, creating multiple areas of roiling plasma across a swathe of targets – him – or in a single, strong blast. The focused blast was more powerful even than the multiple flechettes launched by the mag gun and mag pistol, and the slightly shorter range compared with the mag gun would make no difference at all. In his amour, he would have a 50:50 chance of surviving a focused blast from the carbine, or a seventy percent chance against shots in the rapid fire mode.
Mind you, given that Thurrid would keep firing until he was dead, his choice wasn’t about surviving. In fact, Ghinir reflected, he should probably opt for the swifter end.
|Weapon||– Range –|
|Mag Pistol (Standard)||10||20||30||1xSV1||1xSV1||–|
|Mag Gun (Standard)||20||30||60||1xSV1||–||–|
|Plasma Carbine (Standard – Scatter)||20||30||–||2xSV0||–||RF|
|Plasma Carbine (Standard – Focused)||20||30||50||1xSV2||–||–|
|Plasma Pistol (Standard)||10||20||30||1xSV2||1xSV2||–|
Ghinir was about to opt for the plasma carbine, a faster, cleaner death, when Thurrid’s rumbling voice interrupted. “Or, if you would rather die alone, then I will seal you in your chamber alongside a demolition device.” One of the body guards stepped forward and slowly, carefully raised a case. Inside the container’s padded walls were a plasma grenade, a fractal charge, an implosion grenade and a vorpal charge.
The plasma grenade utilised broiling plasma similar to the carbine. Ghirid had lost two guild-brothers to a plasma grenade set as a mine, and the charred remains of their bodies were a sight that would remain with him until the… well, not long now. Implosion grenades were miniature compression devices which reduced the target to a hyper-compressed state. Again like many Boromite weapons, they were designed as tools and not weapons but they would kill Ghinir easily enough. He had seen enough people die in close combat to fractal charges and some of them had been the grenade-users themselves. They weren’t designed for melee and accidents happened more often than Ghinir liked.
The vorpal charge, though… an idea came to mind. The charge created an anti-matter sphere in a containment field, capable of destroying everything it touched. If it contacted him he would cease to exist, regardless of whatever armour he might be wearing. On a battlefield the only defence was dodging the haphazardly veering devices, but that was easier said than done. Once generated, the vorpal field would zigzag at random, disintegrating anyone who was too close: the charge didn’t distinguish between friend or foe. In battle they were often used in a strategic role, to deny and enemy an area of the battlefield or… he recalled Thurrid releasing one on the left flank to deter Skyraiders.
|Weapon||– Range –|
|Plasma Grenade (Grenade)||5||–||–||1xSV1||1xSV1||Compound SV|
|Implosion Grenade (Grenade)||5||–||–||1xSV2||1xSV2||Breaching, Compound SV|
|Fractal Charge (Grenade)||5||–||–||1xSV3||1xSV3||Breaching, Hazardous H2H, Compound SV|
|Vorpal Charge (Equipment)||In summary, an Agility test avoids destruction!|
“I have wasted enough time on you,” snapped Thurrid. “Choose now!” The words were issued with a note of what Ghinir took as satisfaction.
Whilst the last few options were undoubtedly agonising, there was one that was quick, easy. And it could have an additional benefit, too. For the benefit of the Rock Father, Ghinir gave a long sigh. “I choose the vorpal charge. I wish to be left alone in my shame.” The body guard selected the spiky sphere from the case and set a ten second timer. Then, the three intruders rapidly withdrew, taking his mag gun with them. The door clanged shut behind them and Ghinir was left alone with his shame.
Or as Ghinir saw it, left alone with his escape tunnel. He wasted no time in peeling away the back plate and dropping to his knees. As he threw himself into his tunnel, he heard the hum of the vorpal charge activating behind him and the crack and whoosh of air rushing in to replace the vacuum caused by the matter-anti-matter reaction. Frantically, Ghinir crawled along the low-roofed escape tunnel to the surface.