Embracing Horizons


autumn_icon.gif diego_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif faye_icon.gif felicia_icon.gif michael_icon.gif

Scene Title Embracing Horizons
Synopsis Frontline Squad-2 is given their introductions to the Horizon Armor.
Date February 4, 2010

Annapolis Naval Academy

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis Maryland is a relatively unfriendly place to spend the worst months of winter. Being perched on the east coast it's often battered by strong wintry storms, and the day of the Horizon Training Activity at the Annapolis Naval Academy just had to be one of those blustery winter days. With temperatures rising just barely above thirty degrees, the iar is filled with thick and heavy snowflakes driven by strong winds and fall down over the the synthetic grass of the Rip Miller field at the academy.

This training event could have been performed indoors at the Halsey Field House, but the special guest trainer today insisted on braving the harsh weather and extreme environments for these first-timers. With the muster for the day's training exercises at mid-day, it left much of the morning to speculate what the commander of FRONTLINE Unit-01 Squad-01 has in store for the Squad-02 rookies.

When the squad is called for muster to the event, they have been requested to present themselves on the field, in the snowstorm in shorts and tanktops, summer exercise gear and nothing more. Surely, Spalding isn't quite the slave driver as he's appearing to be, but the unusual request is only where this training exercise begins to get unusual.

On the way out from barracks towards Rip Miller field, Private Mills is called away by a page over the facility intercoms, and her hesitance to not be present at the meeting shows in her departure. By the time Diego, Felicia, Faye and Elisabeth make their way out onto the snow-covered football field, they find an unusual collection waiting for them.

Standing in a black wool trenchcoat with a fur collar raised and dark knit cab, General Sebastian Autumn of the United States Air Force looks rather unlike his usual pressed and proper demeanor, instead nursing a paper cup of coffee with a telltale green and white logo on the front. At his side, standing with hands folded behind his back and shaved head tilted up just enough to stare down his nose at the arrivals, USMC Second Lieutenant Michael Spalding seems for all his worth to be exactly what the press has made him out to be, a trumped up G.I. Joe doll for the modern age.

His attire, as well, seems to be unusual for the cold. A form-fitting suit of matte black layered body armor covers everything but his head, where he is adorned with a single ear-piece headset. The armor is exactly what FRONTLINE has been shown wearing in the news, a mixture of traditional and modern combat asthetics with visible hydraulic components on the legs.

"Recruits," Michael projects a greeting across the field, standing at ease. "Why don't we all get up in line, and I'll get straight down to business!" Michael motions with one hand to form an imaginary line ten feet in front of him in the snow. It's only on this approach through the whirling snowflakes that the team sees something behind him— five folding metal and plastic armor racks containing matching suits to what Spalding himself is wearing.

This may explain the brisk dress code.

It doesn't matter that being from New York means you spend a good deal of the winter freezing — it is usually not in summer clothing! Only insane people want you out in a snowstorm in summer clothing. But Elisabeth is not about to whine or in any way show weakness to the rest of this squad — all of whom she feels pretty outclassed by in terms of training. Yeah, she's seen combat. But these people are soldiers. The real deal. Christ, what has she gotten herself into?? Shivering in her socks, the blonde pretty much goes where ordered — that imaginary line, where she stands with her arms crossed (as opposed to at 'parade rest', which is where she expects to find the rest of them). Different in more ways than one.

A football player's uniform isn't really much more than summer exercise gear. Super thin spandex and jersey, some pads- which players go ultra light on for speed -and there you have it. Thus, despite some amount of annoyance at the oddity, Diego isn't afraid to take the field half naked in a snowstorm. He's been on this very field in similar conditions before. All of that said, he takes his place in line silently. Military procedures are simple. Do as you're told and shut up unless spoken to. Easy. He even takes it a step farther and comes crisply to attention, though there's an irrepressible hint of mischief and amusement hidden in his eyes. Luckily he keeps the rest of his face carefully schooled to impassiveness, the only indicator that he's at all cold the goosebumps that stand out on his exposed skin, creating a slight bubbling effect to his tattoos.

While Faye is accustomed to cold weather, having worked with the Coast Guard in Search and Rescue for more than a handful of years. There had been training about staying afloat in freezing water as well. Usually in summer clothes, even. She'll be grateful the closest thing to the freezing water is the snow that she treads through to get out onto the field. Despite that, this was years ago. It doesn't stop her from shivering, teeth chattering as she steps up to stand in the line. Gooseflesh is visible on her arms and legs. Some parts of her are more alert than others, as well. But that is not the point, unless there's a man looking through binoculars.

Because that's what Tris would do. Michael presumes that much.

Though inwardly Felicia will bitch to herself about being ordered outside in only shorts and a tank top, it certainly doesn't show on her face. During basic training, she was exposed to much worse. And while her tours in Iraq made her used to extreme temperatures, that was for heat and sandstorms, not for freezing temperatures and snow. Her pace to the invisible line is brisk, but measured. Once there, she stands at military ease with her hands nested into each other against the small of her back. Her chin is stuck slightly up and her bare limbs show her goosebumps from the cold. All her attention is what is in front of her and in focusing as such, she keeps herself from shivering. It's been years since Felicia has been called a recruit and only her training keeps her from smirking at Michael when he calls them as such. Instead, her expression is mostly stoic and concentrated, eyes straight forward.

One dark brow raised at Elisabeth's posture, Michael's seemingly drill-instructor demeanor is broken by only the faintest flicker of a smile across his lips, even if it has an unusual crooked cast to it. It isn't Michael but General Autumn who speaks up to inform the gathered recruits — minus their weapons specialist — about the current meeting at hand. "Ladies and Gentlemen I'm glad to see most of you here on the field today. I apologize for pulling Private Mills aside, I assure you that her detention from you will not be protracted. She's involved in a closed-doors meeting at present, and will be returned to you as soon as possible." Offering a look towards Michael, Autumn takes a step forward after slurping from his coffee.

"The lot of you may be wondering why you're standing out here in your shorts in this freezing weather." This, coming from the man who is bundled up like it's the Arctic circle; It's never this cold in Texas. "That answer is standing directly behind you, and Commander Spalding thought it would be best to get you accustomed to your new best friends in these unfortunate weather conditions." Squinting against the snow and wind, Autumn steps aside to motion to the portable racks containing the suits of armor.

"What you see before you, is the bleeding edge of military protection for the 21st century. Developed at the Natick Soldier Center for the Army's Future Force Warrior program, the Horizon Full-Spectrum Combat System is the single most advanced piece of personal defense hardware the world has to offer. Each suit costs upwards of one and a half billion dollars to innovate and design, and the raw production cost is…" Autumn's brows furrow. "Well I'm not sure, but somewhere below that." A good-natured Texan smile is afforded to the team, and he brandishes his coffee at them as he speaks.

"Each of these suits has been custom designed to fit your personal measurements and some basic data we took from you during your physical exams when you firts arrived here in Annapolis. Commander Spalding here is tasked with explaining the suits to you, and getting you accustomed to what we at FRONTLINE like to call your personal best friend and life saver." He cracks a smile, and motions for Michael to take over.

"Thank you General," The crew-cut soldier states with a not of his head, moving to step back from the line of the team, motioning to the suits. "Alright, why don't you all come up one at a time and get yourselves suited up. You'll notice that these suits hang by this rack when they're not in use, that's because the Horizon suits are a single piece fully-integrated outfit. You'll find they zipper open in the back, and you just need to pull yourself up on these upper bars," Michael taps a gloved hand on the metal cross bar above where the suit hangs, "slide your legs in amd then brings your arms down in. I'll help zip you into the suits." Starting at the left and working his way to the right, Michael points to individual suits and calls out names. "Smith, Crawford, Varlane, Harrison." Brown eyes turn back as Michael crosses his arms, and waits for the team to get themselves suited up. Notably, none of them seem to have the distinctive helmets the FRONTLINE team members were shown wearing in the news.

If she could pale at the news that this piece of gear is $1.5 BILLION dollars, Elisabeth would. But it's too farking cold. Her goosebumps have goosebumps, and there's another layer of goosebumps on top of that! It's not as cold as the Antarctic, but Jesus H. Christ. Liz listens intently, though, and approaches the armor reluctantly. "What happens if this stuff gets… you know… damaged?" She glances over her shoulder at Spalding and Autumn and grins impishly. "Cuz, you know… it's likely to happen. Especially in the hellhole that is New York at the moment." She walks around the back of the one that's gestured to with her name attached and peers at the thing, looking intently at the way you have to climb in. Good Lord, if Varlane Junior were here, he'd be creaming his jeans over BattleMech armor.

Real live Elemental suits, indeed. When Smith's name is called he makes his way to the appropriate suit, though its worth noting that he examines the gear for several moments before he truly gets the gist of how to put the damn things on. "Well thats just… weird." Diego says it quietly, though. This is a personal observation, and not what intended for the general viewing audience. But at this point, what use is there in focusing on the weird? Fuck it. He grabs the bar above the suit and goes about slipping himself into the armor as vaguely demonstrated. If it involves some wiggling and manuevering and he doesn't hop in like an old pro, well… he isn't, damn you.

Now, they certainly never got to wear armor this sophisticated in the Coast Guard. The most expensive thing she ever worried about ruining was the boats. This… She takes a slow breath, stepping forward and suddenly grateful for one thing. "At least we won't be shivering in a few minutes," she says quietly, just loud enough for the people closest to her to hear. There's certainly nothing at all graceful about her attempts to step in and get the equiptment put on. She's half hoping these are one size fits all, and her slenderness will make it so it's a little big— cause otherwise it's going to bunch up these shorts she's in.

The question that Elisabeth asks is valid, though Felicia can't help but give her a bit of a look for speaking before the demonstration is over. That's not exactly protocol. She has yet to relax her stance and instead, waits for the two people before her put on their own armor before she even thinks about stepping up to try hers on. The armor itself looks like something out of a science fiction movie - she's half expecting it to speak in her ear and call her Dave as soon as she puts it on. Her own attempts to jump into the suit are awkward and require a bit of maneuvering before she slides into it. While fitted to her, it doesn't exactly feel like a second skin - it feels like a strange piece of armor she's going to have to get used to moving in. And, no, it doesn't speak to her of it's own accord. Maybe she's a little disappointed that for a billion dollars it doesn't come with it's own AI.

Michael cracks a smile and lifts up his right arm to Elisabeth, showing a few notches and scrapes in one of the hardened forearm plates. "It happens, trust me. These suits go in for regular maintenance and repair every week. We have a technician that they ship in from DC, and he fixes up our wheels and the suits, makes sure all the internal electronics are working… things like that. But there've been instances where the suit gets pushed to its limits or just trashed. I don't know the price-tag on repairs, but we haven't had a suit get out and out destroyed yet. So— I'm figuring we'll see Director Kershner's head spew fire if that ever happens. But a soldier's life is worth more than the pricetag of the suit, and the lives it protects."

Autumn clears his throat, takes another sip of his coffee, and then finally interjects. "Not to mention, the boys down at NSC made these things tougher than Spalding here, you'll be more likely to see him get a few cuts and bruises before these suits give out. The leg joints and hydraulics are still in the testing phase, so we're losing a little bit of money on them every time a piston locks up, but it's never happened in the field. Thankfully they can be disengaged manually, so you won't find your legs locked up in crisis mode. I just wouldn't try to carry two hundred pounds over your shoulders with out them." Autumn's brows lift at that and he offers a belly laugh, despite himself and his usual pressed demeanor.

"First thing you'll all notice is that you can't move your arms or legs much," Michael explains this as he's zipping up the backs of each individual suit and unclipping them from the metal harnass that supported them. One by one, each team member lands with a thump down onto the frozen grass. "The arms, legs and spine on these suits are reinforced by a hydraulic exoskeleton. When the suits are powered off, they don't do much other than weigh you down. In the event of an EMP attack that compromises the suits integrity," Michael motions to a pair of large metal clips at Elisabeth's shoulders and hips as demonstration, "those four toggles snap the entire exo-skeleton harnass right off, along with whatever you're carrying on your back too."

Filling in for Michael as he zips up the rest of the crew, General Autumn chimes in. "The Hydraulic components of these suits sort've make you like the Bionic Man, if any've you kids remember that old show." He gives a toothy grin at the commentary. "Once powered up, the exo-skeleton frames on the arms and legs allow more even weight distribution, allowing you to life one and a half times more weight than you normally would be able to, and with three times as much ease for carrying purposes. Thanks to the design the NSC put together for this, the exo-skeleton components won't slow you down at all. Michael, why don't we get these fired up?"

Nodding his head, Michael moves over to Diego at the head of the line, and taps a small and flat object at the small of his back. "Behind your exo-skeleton harnass is something about the size of a drinking flask. This is a liquid hydrocarbon micro-turbine. Tech talk aside, it's basically a small engine on your back that powers the suit. It's connected to four power cells tucked away at the backs of your shoulders, and the sides of your thighs. These power cells absorb minute amounts of static electricity and friction to help add additional battery power to the suits. These boys will run for about 24 hours of constant use before they need recharging. All you do is depress this button." his gloved thumb holds down a plastic switch, "for three seconds, and the suits power on. You have to hold that button down a full ten seconds to power the whole suit off, to prevent accidental deactivation. Everyone, turn on your suits and just try moving your arms and legs a little. It takes some getting used to, kind've like learning how to ride a bike."

Finally shimmying into her own suit and finding it both uncomfortable and at least a bit warmer than being out in a snowstorm in her skivvies, Elisabeth pays attention to the lecture while she gets zipped in. Dropping to the ground, there is a sudden tension in being unable to move. It's stressful, at best. She struggles with it, focusing on the words being spewed. 'Not able to move much' is an understatement. She feels like she's moving through molasses. But the suit powers up after a few minutes of reeeaaaaallllyyyyyyy slllllooowwwwww movement. "Anyone feel like we're in a slow motion movie?" she quips softly. "Jesus."

The first thing Diego does once his suit is zipped and dropped is reach down until he's familiar with just how hard it will be to hit those emergency latches. Once he's done that he fires the suit up, attempting to wiggle to some degree to settle his shorts properly inside the Biotic Man armor. "No, but I do feel like the robot from Lost In Space."

"A slow scifi action movie," Faye comments, grimacing rather than smiling as she tries to twist around to reach the button so she can push it. It's not graceful, and it's not quick. No, if this thing ever shuts down, she wants to know how to get it the hell off fast. Especially if they're anywhere near water. Almost all her training took place in or around water and this happens to be the worst possible thing ever, from the heavy feel. "I hope we avoid conflicts too close to the harbor," she adds, when she finally finds the button and depresses it. Once it starts up, though, the slow movement changes and she blinks visibly against the shivers. Yes, Diego, she agrees with you. It feels weird.

Twisting one way and then the other, Felicia feels the weight of trying to pull the suit along with her, but doesn't quite comment on it quite yet. Instead, she moves herself around and then powers on the proper switch. Funnily enough, the suit can lift normally what she could make lighter with her ability. Idly, she wonders if that means she can lift even more than normal with this suit. Hell, she might be able to pick up a truck in this thing if the circumstances were right. "Hell, I'd be ready for a close up in one of these."

Autumn finds great amusement in both Diego's comment about Lost in Space and also watching the rookies squirm around in their new skins. "These suits take about twenty hours of continual exercise to get accustomed to. Typivally you want to fire these bad boys up before you get into them, but Spalding here was making a point to show you the limited mobility when powered down. Once you have them on, you'll have the free range of motion to get into the suits and zip them up yourselves. You'll also notice these boys run silent. You'll feel a little vibration at your back from the microturbine, but eventually you won't even notice it's there. Spalding— " Autumn focuses on the soldier watxchinvg the team members getting accustomed to the armor. "Show these boys and girls what the suit can do."

Nodding sharply, Michael reaches down to his side and pulls out a Marine issue combat knife, smooth and matte black with a shiny edge. "Smith has a point," Michael notes, motioning to Diego with a knife, "But as heavy as these feel, you can swim in them. The exo-skeleton frames are made of only fifteen pounds of titanium alloy, and the resistance you all felt inside of them was from the locked hydraulics. These suits hardly weigh a thing, you'll notice the soft points beneath the exo skeleton frame feel like wearing kevlar or a polymer weave vest at most. But what you can't see is what saves your life. Crawford, you're going to be my test subject to show the resistance strength of the suits MR fluid."

Moving over to stand beside Faye, Michael rests a hand on her shoulder and flips his knife around backhanded. "Now I'm sure you're all well aware of the penetration power of one of these knives in the proper hand. What you need to learn here, is how well these suits— when powered up— work to save your lives." Lightly scraping the knife along a hardened black plate at Faye's shoulder, Michael looks from one recruit to the other. "These plates are standard anti-ballistic plating, the kind that's worn beneath a kevlar weave. There's a double layer of protection on these hard points. One above the fabric, and one below. What's really fantastic, is the soft parts of the suit." Dangerously, Michael points the tip of his knife to the soft jointed fabric at Faye's inner arm, and then towards her midsection. "Just relax," he says with a nod of his head, "you're perfectly safe."

This comes before Michael gives a firm — but not too hard — jab of the sharp knife at Faye's stomach. Immediately on the tip pressing against the black weave, Faye can feel a pressure, like clenching muscles in her abdomen, but it's the suit squirming on the outside of her body. Miraculously, the knife stops dead center on her stomach, leaving only a tiny puncture hole from the tip in the fabric weave. An apologetic smile and a slap of Faye's shoulder is Michael's reassurance as he puts his knife back in his belt sheath.

"Each suit of the Horizon armor is a mixture of traditional ballistic plating, and what's called liquid armor. This liquid body armor is made from magnetorheological fluid, a liquid that remains in a fluidic state until the application of a magnetic field. When an electrical pulse is applied, the armor transitions from a soft state to a rigid state in thousandths of a second. This is initiated by any amount of force exerted on the exterior of the armor over a pre-programmed threshhold determined by sensors located all throughout the body."

Pacing the length of the team, Michael glances over his shoulder to Felicia, then to Diego, then finally to Elisabeth. "The electromagnetic current causes the iron particles to lock into a uniform polarity and stack on top of each other, creating an extremely durable shield inside the fabric that exists only on the moment of impact. Once the kinetic energy is displaced, the suit softens again. Now if there's prolonged pressure, like a dog bite the suit will remain hardened around the pressure — and only around the pressure. How hard the substance becomes depends on the strength of the magnetic field or electrical current. Once the charge or magnetic field is removed, the particles unlock, and the substance goes back to a fluid state."

"A point to note…" Autumn chimes in, "Is that while these suits are designed to resist ballistic damage and penetration, it doesn't do much against shearing force. You come up against some whack-job with a sword or some lacination ability it won't be any more effective than traditional body armor. The suit shouldn't be a crutch, it should be an aid. Additionally, these things have a wide variety of sensors and monitoring devices in them that we'll get into when Michael talks to you about the headgear. Right now, just get accustomed to flexing and moving around a little, and if you have any questions on what we've covered so far, Spalding's your man."

"Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!" Elisabeth replies in a good-natured quip to Diego. She tries to find the latches that detach the skeleton, concerned about being able to get out of the damn thing if she needs to. Thank God Spalding didn't want to use her as a crash test dummy. Really! And when he jams the knife into Faye, Liz has to struggle to keep from reacting. It would be beyond stupid to test such a thing if he wasn't sure absolutely no damage would occur to Faye. She does go a bit wide-eyed at the fact that it stops the knife altogether. Tilting her head, Elisabeth actually does have questions. "How well does the suit respond to ranged ballistic attacks?" Ie, how much force will they be hit with when a bullet strikes? "And what happens with alternative forms of attack — magnetic, gravitic, things like that?"

"I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume I'd rather not know the answer to that." He isn't being dickish when he says this, its just Diego's genuine observation. Though, given his own personal brand of super-evo-mutie salsa, its probably his default answer. As the demonstration is going on, Diego takes his suit through a series of motions. Simulating holding a rifle, then a bigger rifle, then swinging his arms about, crouching. All told, he looks rather ridiculous. Like a bad ballet dancer on crack. This is before you factor in the idea that he really isn't used to wearing a suit of this nature. AND before you add in the fact that he already reacts faster than most people blink- yes, if you want good blackmail material, get your camera phone out now, because he has all the grace of a retarded skateboarder.

Why does she get to be the test subject? There's a visible wince, even if Faye trusts that the man wouldn't damage both a billion dollar suit and an asset that would take quite a few years to replace. "That's an odd sensation," she admits, the covered hand touching the armor where the blade went, unable to feel all that it stopped, but knowing that it did. Otherwise she'd have a knife in her gut right now. "Good to know these things can handle water." She just has to doubt that it'd be good if they happened to have a malfunction while in the water.

With permission given to move around, she begins to go through easily recognizable stretches and simple movements, stretching out her arms and legs, and seeing how quickly she can move. In some ways, it makes movement easier, but it's going to take a lot of getting used to. It's not quite as humiliating as Deigo's display, cause she's taking it very slow— but it lacks grace, certainly.

Funny Elisabeth should mention gravity attacks, because Felicity is already wondering what she could do weightless in a suit like this. While she's not about to try it immediately - she already looks completely idiotic when she floats without a billion dollar suit on - she certainly is thinking about when she'll be able to get the chance to attempt it away from prying eyes. With one ear open to listen for the answer, she starts to go through the motions of walking about, stretching, ducking and jumping. If they're going to be going into situations with these things on, she wants to know what the absolute limits of them are before she has to worry.

"That's a good question, Harrison." Michael notes with a nod of his head. "We've never come under attack by anything like that before, most of our encounters to date have been particularly short. The techies who maintain the suits explained to me that a strong enough electromagnetic pulse could fry the suit entirely, which still leaves it as functional kevlar weave and hardened plates, but you'd have to detatch the exo-skeleton. It's not something we expect to run into in every-day scenarios, but— That's why these things have a manual." Grimacing, Michael starts pacing back down the line of recruits, looking at the way they handle mobility in the armor.

"For the next week, these suits are going to be all you wear from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. While you've been out here on the field, I've had some boys installing harnasses in your bunks. You maintain your suits, hang 'em, put 'em on, and wear them 24/7 for one full week to treat them like a second skin. There's a technician on campus here to take care of any problems that arise. You'll also find field manuals describing the whole Horizon system in your bunks. It's a heavy read, but I recommend studying it, or you'll end up like Bentley who only yesterday figured out he can change the color scheme of his HUD." Scratching at the back of his head with one hand, Michael casts a side-long look to Autumn.

"In a week, Director Kershner and Commander Spalding are going to run you through a live-fire training exercise here to demonstrate some urban combat situations. You'll have a guest member to fill out the empty fifth spot on your team who will work with you for the duration of the training exercise, and we'll be flying out to a remote training facility for that. I expect all of you to be versed in your hardware by then and familiarized with these suits. Also," Autumn rattles his coffee around, disappointed to find it empty. "Your rooms will have a charge pack in them, it's about ten pounds and fits inside any standard backpack, and you can snake the cables out and hook it up to the turbine. With that equipped your suits should run for the full week without needing a recharge, provided that you optimize usage and get enough exercise to take advantage of the static charge plates too. I'll be expressly disappointed if any of your suits are dead when I get back here."

Oh good… this'll be fun. Jumping jacks in a power suit! Elisabeth is moving around and trying out the range of motion in her suit. "What kinds of powers have the suits been tried against?" she asks as she moves in a stiff, ungainly manner better suited to dancing to "Mr. Roboto" than walking. "It sounds like projectiles and jabs won't be a problem, but does the liquid armor ever get stuck in one form or another? Frozen, for example? Does it get rigid and shatter under certain conditions?" she queries. Because yeah, she's nosy like that.

Diego is listening. Really. It looks like it would absolutely impossible to do so, given his… antics… but he is! He is apparently not the sort to dip his toe in before getting wet, as he goes through a set of motions that have him figuring out how easy it will be to get up from various positions. This is in between standard work out motions and stretches, football drills, and then a backflip. The flip is, of course, augmented, so he completes a full rotation and then lands on his backside, but this does nothing to dampen his playful spirit.

Getting used to wearing the suits constantly? Faye closes her eyes a moment, reaching through the bond all the way to New York. The lack of visible tension tells her that she's okay, but the bond's less now, almost on the verge of breaking. If she wants to renew it, she'll need to go back. …In body armor. Settling back, she reaches up as if to rub her forehead and then… looks at the glove instead. Okay, going to need to get used to this. Wearing gloves may be common, for her but the rest… No flipping around from her, but she does start to jog in place after finishing the test stretches. "Will I get a chance to test it on the water?"

Stuck, frozen, lifted, Felicia is ready to try the suit in just about any situation. It's still awkward to move around in, still doesn't feel like she knows what she's doing in it completely. Normally she has a good reaction time, but this is still slow and clumsy. As for swimming in it, she gives Faye a raised eyebrow. "Just make sure you bring a swim buddy." Like back in camp days when you needed a second person to make sure you didn't drown. Not that Felicia ever went to camp, but she's seen a few movies dealing with it. The last thing she wants is for someone to drown while testing these things out.

"I've been set on fire, a few times." Michael rather proudly asserts with a scruff of one hand over the top of his head. "These suits are flame retardant, so that's a huge plus. We've never tested them in sub-zero climates, but I'd imagine the hydraulics would freeze if it got too cold. The fluid inside the suits is a synthetic oil that I think can withstand extreme temperatures, but I'd have to check with the techs. The only real weakness the suits have is from being electrocuted. Thankfully they disperse the current through the MR fluid, but it causes the suits to tense up like a shocked muscle. YOu actually dampen the damage you'd take from the shock, but you're stiff as a board in a lot of places. Tasers and the like aren't a danger, small area electrical charges in the handheld variety and the darts can't penetrate the ballistic protection. Just gotta' worry about the electrokinetics, but even then, the suit still saves your life more than hinders you."

Considering the question further, Michael shifts his footing around from left to right, anxious energy and a way to work off the cold from the snow settled on his armored shoulders. "One added benefit you'll all get accustomed to is the running speed. Those shock absorbers under your feet add a little spring into your step, it's not a huge boost, but enough to notice you're a little lighter on your feet. Thankfully none of you move at super-human speeds, we haven't tested the exo-skeletons with high-speed evolved yet." Michael motions to Faye, "There's a pool facility right here on campus, I'm sure if you check in with the staff and explain what you want to do they'll have no problems. You guys are like celebrities here right now, for better or worse."

"Ohboy," Elisabeth murmurs vaguely. Mostly about being a celebrity. She sighs and her questions trail off. At this point, all she wants to do is be warm, dammit. Suck.

"What do you mean, you haven't tested them with high speed evolved yet?" At this point, Diego is sitting down. There is only so long one needs to flop around like an idiot with an audience before more serious considerations take precedence. Of course he can't run really fast, but high speed movements are Diego SOP. "I mean, is this thing going to be able to keep up when I'm…" He pauses, offering a quick glance around at the assembled. Talking about his mutie-ness is apparently not something he's very comfortable with, "when I'm really on my game?"

The ability she's got won't be of much use once she's in the suit, unless the team lets her get touchy with them before the mission. Faye has to touch people in order to open up a connection and as she flexes and starts to move around, there's not going to be any touching during the mission. Especially not once the helmet is on. But she would rather be known for her not-powers, anyway. "I look forward to seeing how well it handles in the water. Cause New York is a bunch of islands, and if we're going to be stationed there, we'll likely need to take a boat or twenty." And… she likes the water.

Her own power has very little to do with speed, so that doesn't really worry Felicia so much. It's the electricity and freezing up joints that have got her worried. If they go up against Evolveds like that, they're going to have to figure out ways to bring them down that down so much rely on these swanky suits. The last thing she wants is for everyone to get all used to and relying on their suits and then have them go up against some crazy electrokinetic who fries their suits and they're left to scatter. "Looks like you've got an assignment," Felicia grins at Diego. "I can't wait to see these things fly a bit."

Michael laughs at Diego's question, nodding his head once. "You're well within the speed limits we've tested these suits in. Fine-precision quick movements are all well and good. When you start running the hydraulics at seven-hundred miles per hour, that's I think when the design specs fall apart. These are the first generation suits too, a lot of what we in FRONTLINE are going is beta-testing for field data. Every so often the techs from NSC will come down and tune the suits up or replace the computers. I'm sure eventually they'll come up with one that can move with someone capable of running at Mach-III or whatever those speedsters do."

Affording Faye a curious look, Michael cuts a lopsided smile smile. "I think you and Varlane will be especially pleased with the vehicles FRONTLINE has been afforded. Humpty and Dumpty, as Bentley calls them. But we'll get more into your vehicular training once you've gotten accustomed to your new hardware here. The helmets are an entirely different deal, so read up on them and be ready to use them come next week. Crawford's ability is an unusual boon to your team, since her communication link can't be intercepted or disrupted unlike the communications in the helmet. I can't wait to see how you all adapt to that."

"Alright everyone, my mouth's gonna fall off if I hang out here in this blizzard any longer. I'm going inside to see if Private Mills is done yet, and it looks like you and I have to give her a private demonstration, Spalding." Autumn looks eager to get the hell out of the cold, even though Michael seems to be totally unphased by it. In fact, his nose and ears aren't even red, it's as though the cold isn't touchimg him. Maybe he really is as indestructible as the press has made him out to be. "Any last orders for your rookies?"

Spalding brings a gloved hand up to his chin, cracking a smile. "Just one…" he notes with a look towards the snowy football field, then claps his hands together soundly.

"On your feet rookies! Gimmie five laps!"

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