The study of natural phases and other dimensions is classified as Dimensional Science. Within this field, the people who study it refer to themselves as Exologists, or add the exo- prefix to whatever their field of expertise happens to be. Many of these are easily laughed off as being as serious as cryptozoolists, conspiracy theorists, or ancient astronaut researchers. The truth of the matter is that once someone has reached the point in their studies that they can consider themselves an exobotanist, they are very likely a leading or cutting edge figure in the non-exo application of their field of study. There are certainly loons to be found, but they generally lack the internal connections and funding to be anything other than comic figures, or counter-culture celebrities.
The study of other dimensions leads to the exploration of other dimensions. Those men and women who attempt to physically travel to the hypothetical realms are named Exonauts. The mortality rate of Exonauts is astronomically high, and the few that have returned alive almost never return sane. To those who pursue the field, they draw comparisons to the first peoples who tried to build boats, lots of them failed, lots of them died, and they were probably also mocked and ridiculed, at least until they figured out the business of crossing oceans.
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A fairly conventional quaddie, the Scorpion combines the upper torso of a standard combat droid with a four legged chassis. The larger chassis houses a robust generator and other equipment, giving the machine a decent range and combat endurance. The arms of the droid are typically replaced with auto-rifle gun-arms. Scorpions are low end, low cost machines. They are used in underworld locations, and in slums where they are tended to by clocksmith tinkers.
Scorpions are old, you can find the wrecks of them out in the desert. Someone built them in the thousands decades ago, maybe even a couple of centuries ago. Guts are robust, easy to fix. Autocannon arms use conventional ammo, not hard to put them back to work.
The Normandy class dropship doesn't equip capital weaponry. Most of it's internal space is devoted to mecha carrying and support equipment, and drive systems.
The main firepower of the Normandy class comes from six particle cannons. These high energy weapons are designed for anti-mecha operations, but if concentrated on a single target, can damage light warships. These are mounted in three turrets, two fore, and one aft. The ship mounts two linear guns coaxially to the hull, one on each side of the launch bay. These two weapons are used as bunker busters, or engaging enemy ships. They are too large and two slow for engaging mecha or lighter forces, but deal damage as artillery strikes.
The ship has a network of point defense lasers, some of which are large enough to damage mecha. The laser defense system was intended as a purely protective measure, but captains realized the utility of the system, and will use their ship in an aggressive fashion, forcing enemies into the range of the laser system. Lighter mecha can be sliced to ribbons, while large mecha suffer severe damage, and are easier pickings for the friendly mecha.
The majority of Normandy ships have external mounts for guided missile systems, and this varies from ship to ship. The most common choices include Archer and Crossbow 'swarm' missile batteries, single shot capital missiles, and smart torpedoes (which amount to demi-sentient kamikaze drones
Two of the Normandy class dropships in service are dedicated troop transports. Unlike the other ships, these two have been configured to deliver conventional infantry rather than mecha or power armor troopers. The AFS Ranger and AFS Columbia were built to deliver these soldiers into uncontested areas. Originally intended for occupation and putting the literal boots on the ground, both ships have seen much more work in humanitarian operations. AFs Columbia does as much work as a medical support ship, and Ranger has been a mobile HQ for search and rescue operations after earthquakes, major fires, and so forth. The ability of the ships to move large numbers of people have made both invaluable in assisting in rescuing damaged ships and compromised space habitats.
Three ships of the Normandy hull pattern have been built, but have all their mecha bays and most of their offensive weaponry removed to make room for cargo capacity. These armored transports are used for logistic purposes, moving hardware and materiel. These three ships are not considered part of the Normandy class. The AFS Montgomery, AFS Fitzgerald, and the AFS Kennedy have been in service for three decades. They have worked in rescue ops, full military ops, and more than once have been dressed up as other ships in the series, for counter intelligence purposes. During the Huo Hsing fiasco, Fitzgerald and Montgomery were liveried up as the Excaliber and Pegasus. This created some confusion among ACPS fleet assets as their tracking systems had to deal with two Excalibers and two Pegasuses. This split up some of the ACPS fleet assets and prevented them from making a play against taking Phobos and Deimos bases from the Federation.
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