Often called "Valkyries" because the celestial, winged shadows they cast over the battlefield, VD-TDs are specialized Drone Soldiers that are an integral part of the Terranean Ground Forces of any MADDS security system. They are a highly mobile, well armed strike force, used to shock and blitz invading ground forces, flank and cut off retreats, with an accuracy and efficiency only MADDS could orchestrate. They can be deployed most anywhere, with speed and accuracy, mount a strike so fast an efficient that it may turn the tides of battle literally within minutes if not seconds. They are tireless and emotionless, and have a brutal determination that only a machine could have.
VD-TD Drop Ships
A entire VD-TD Unit is small, about 10 units, and is completely contained within a single drop-ship. VD-TDs operate best in smaller numbers, though several dropships may, at the behest of the Drone Controller, work in tandem for any given operation. While small numbers plays to their strength, overwhelming opposition will, in due time, push back even the staunchest VD-TD assaults, considering their limited availability and their effective cost-to-field price.
All VD-TDs are housed within Dropships, and remain in a state of hibernation until touchdown. The Dropships are skeletal in nature, having little in the way of armaments, relying on accompanying gunships to guard them. They are piloted, like all other Drones, by a Cryo-Cyborg brain, which receives and executes orders from it's Drone Controller.
The Underbelly of the Dropship in a ribbed box, about fifty feet long, with about five ribs on each side. In between these ribs, are the pod-like VD-TD drones in hibernating state. From low altitude, these drones are ejected, and guided by small pulse-jets towards their intended drop zone.
After this, the VD-TD dropship returns to the Controller Base, for refueling and repair. The VD-TDs do not reload until after the operation. Once they return to home base they are repaired if necessary, and the are put into hibernation state, pumped full of hibernation nutrients, packed back into their Flak-Shield pods, and reloaded via crane, into their dropships, where they remain until the next time they are called.
In drop, the Drone's systems begin to wake, and like metallic a butterfly emerging from some steel chrysalis, it unfolds mid-air. Once it nears the ground, it jettisons it's unnecessary pulse-jets, hibernatory liquid nutrient tank, and flak shielding, using it's shoulder-mounted jump jets to cushion it's landing. And "cushion" is a relative term, considering the primary drop protocol for the drones is to, if possible, land on enemy soldiers and crush them, both softening the drone's impact and inflicting as much damage as possible. If this is not possible the drones drop rather like meteors, leaving a small crater at the site of impact. The drones emerged unscathed from this, having specialized leg servos, designed for high velocity impact.
The drones look roughly humanoid, standing slightly under six feet. They have a broad, heavy pair of legs complete with servo-assisted hydraulics, making them highly maneuverable as they can make breakneck turns and agile leaps mid combat. The legs are fused to a waist girdle that allows the body to twist a full 360 degrees, for full and unhindered rotation.
The thorax and head segments are a single fused piece, with the "head" being little more than a very shallow, almost unnoticeable bump between the two shoulders. The body is made out of a highly flexible, super resistant nanosteel-diorite alloy, at a thickness of 1/16th of an inch. The shoulders are covered with a thick pair of reinforced spaulders, used in conjunction with the jump jets as high-velocity shoulder rams. The endoskeletal chasis is made of carbon fiber caging, padded with cerama-steel and Kevlar. Beneath that is the Cryo-Cyborg brain, housed in a liquid cooled, Cryo-static Gel Tank. The entire Drone is powered by micro-Fusion generator. The heat caused by the generator is funneled through a series of inter coolers and vented from the rear of the Droid. Any damage to the reactor, or at the onset of an overheating failure, the reactor shuts down, and drops into a small containment unit to avoid any sort of hazardous explosion. This failsafe my be bypassed to overheat and detonate the VD-TD if the Drone Controller spots an opportunity to cause massive collateral damage.
From the shoulders protrude the wing-like tools that make the VD-TDs so very agile - the Valkyrie Model Jump jets. Mounted along two slightly curved vertical rails that extend from the back, jump jets are a number ( seven per rail, the longest at the top of the "Wing" with the shortest closest to the back) of slender, square,flat fusion-jets that can twist and bend on the rail, in tandem with each other to propel the VD-TD foreward, sideways, up, or down with high-power energy bursts, using the burnoff energy from the micro-fusion generator. These jets cannot sustain constant flight, but are rather used as gap-closing or gap-opening tactical devices, mostly during flanking or routing manouevers.
The "Head" that is, the nondescript lump located between the shoulders, seems to be a smooth, mostly flat surface with little to distinguish it from the body. This, however, is where a plethora of sensor arrays are located, some fairly run-of-the-mill; Satellite uplinks, data processors, situational HUD software and the like. Others are specifically made for the VD-TDs - wind speed sensors, to relay information to the Pulse-Jets,and specialized Servo-Sensors, to angle the flak shields while in drop. The VD-TD can operate with damage to it's head, so long as it can still receive radio-communications, which the Cryo-Cyborg brain will interpret alone to the best of it's ability, as it acts mostly blindly.
VD-TDs are made for blitz attacks and lightning strikes against lightly armored targets or exposed flanks. Taking into account that the weight of each VD-TD must be kept to an absolute minimum to have maximum agility, they sport a single burst assault rifle which uses energy from it's micro-fusion core. The weapon burns through light armor with relative ease, but heavy plating, energy shield defenses or thermoplas-resistant metals deflect or nullify the blows with little effort. Because of this, VD-TD forces are often completely negated by heavy-walker ordinance, mag-lev cavalry or field mecha, which are resilient to small-arms fire, and carry explosive and armor piercing payloads that can easily shred the VD-TD's carbon fiber plating. The VD-TDs only defense is it's speed, which makes it a formidable opponent when paired with it's burst rifle, against light and even medium class Organic Drones. Once the heavy guns show up though, the VD-TDs are often quickly pulled out, causing as much chaos as they can on the way.
Dispatching VD-TD threats
As noted before, the VD-TDs have little in the way of Armor, which is forfeited for speed. While diarite plating is the best in it's class for dispatching small-arms fire, the explosive gatling-cannon rounds of most mecha will have no issue fragmenting the armor an exposing the valuable cryo-static tank at the center of the body. Explosive blasts from walker ordinance and mag-lev cavalry (Tanks) usually cause enough concussive force to knock a VD-TD from it's standing position, and damage delicate interior servos, if not jarring the function of the cryo-cyborg brain.
A more unorthodox way to dispatch VD-TDs was seen during the Macrosian Conflicts between the Iwakura Corporation and the Gentosian Hegemony. The Gentos, a martial alien race, utilized a host of melee oriented weaponry on all of their power suits. Utilizing what was at the time considered suicide runs, the Gentosian soldiers would actually approach VD-TDs head on, charging into their pulse-jet advances, and engage en melee.
With equal mobility, the Gentosian soldiers were able to quickly wrap around the VD-TDs, and bring their superior melee equipment to bear. High Frequency Gentosian Blades shredded through the unarmored portions of the VD-TDs, usually at the vulnerable waist line where armor is near non-existant. This effectively severs nano-spinal connections to the waist, which contains a host of stabilizer sensors, making even simple pulse-flight impossible. (Attempting to pulse jet, without adequate sensor connections inevitably results in a spiraling, uncontrollable crash.) In fact, with no connection to it's lower sensors, waliking is a near impossible task as well. VD-TDs, with only their light weaponry, are simple targets to dispatch from this state.