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September 25, 2013, 7:19 am

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Chemical Augmentation System

By:

Gotta have dat juice!

Golgotha, Shadowrunner and notorious Juicer

The Juice, stim, hyper, dat stuff, glitter, the Power of Grayskull, and a dozen other equally idiotic names have been given to the melange of drugs, stimulants and hormones that are contained in a Chemical Augmentation System (ChemAugSys or CAS).

The Chemical Augmentation System

The CAS is made of several pieces, the largest being the Harness, worn around the torso. It is worn crossed over the chest and the back, and the front panel, roughly the size of a small book is the controller unit of the harness. It controls the distribution of chemicals into the bloodstream as well as monitoring the biosigns of the wearer through sensors in the harness. Hitting the control node will disable the system, or very rarely cause a near instantly lethal malfunction of the system. The rear of the harness has a slightly larger panel that holds the chemical inserts and canisters. A direct hit on the storage section destroys the supplies of chemicals and renders the harness useless.

The biggest downfall or weakness of almost every supersoldier program on the books or drawing boards is the relative high cost per soldier. The soldier is ideally a short term disposable combat asset, but the cost of a front line super soldier renders these troops a tad less expendable than infantry are expected to be. On the non-super soldier side of the equation, power armor suits are not cheap either. While initially less expensive than augmented super soldiers, the long term maintenance and repair costs level out the two sides. The CAS combined with Standard Light Ablative/Ballistic (SLAB) armor creates a functional light 'power' armor that is dramatically cheaper than both conventional power armor and super soldiers and more reliable than battle androids.

Origins and Manufacturer

The Chemical Augmentation System was designed as a cost cutting measure to create cost effective infantry and special forces on the cheap. The desire for a bigger better infantryman was a major focus at the end of the Second Dark Age and entering the Second Renaissance. Combat was resolved through brief battles between small groups of infantry, almost in a recreation of the codes of chivalry in the medieval era. This motivation drove the development of both super soldiers and power armor infantry. Both proved to be expensive and in various ways, problematic. As the scale of conflict increased, more infantry was needed and in this era, the conventional infantryman was just not up to snuff.

Before the CAS and powered armor, some nations like China used massed human wave attacks, overwhelming foes with sheer numbers. There were horrific losses, but the wave carried the battle more often than not. A small nucleus of elite commandos and other superior infantry supported by more regular infantry proved effective in early 2nd Renaissance battles.

The ACPS originated the use of the CAS, using it to create large groups of above average ability infantry. CAS infantry were fairly heavily armed and armored and served the ACPS as shock troops in their campaign to consolidate control over the SE Asian region. This allowed a large number of CASs to fall into PRC hands, as well as several mercenary companies, security firms, and free nations like India. The technology is relatively simple, and the compounds used to 'power' the system are easily synthesized.

The ACPS is still the main manufacturer of the CAS, but it is in production in countries around the world, especially secondary powers such as the United States of South America, South African United Republics, and Free India. Almost all mercenary corporations have contracts to supply their non-armored and non-augmented troops with CAS harnesses.

Specifics

Enhanced Strength: hormones and stimulants create magnified short duration strength. ESTR is limited to the constraints of the skeletal system, and excessive use resulted in sprains, torn ligaments and other skeletal muscular injuries.

Enhanced Agility: stimulants and psychoactive chemicals accelerate reflexes and personal dexterity. EAGL is limited the Shakes, a symptom of withdrawal from the addictive chemicals used to speed up the body and nervous system.

Combat Aggression: Man is by nature a timid beast, an opportunistic omnivore. Combat Aggression counters fear stimuli and increases hostility and territorial behaviour. CA has very obvious anti-social side effects and is one of the reasons that CAS operators are much more likely to suffer from PTSD and other combat related mental disabilities. The removal of fear at the time doesn't remove the psychological trauma from the things they have seen or done.

Rapid Healing: By applying certain cocktails the body can be stimulated to rapidly heal itself from grievous injuries. These quick healed wounds leave large ugly scars and rapidly consume the body's stores of fat and then muscle. RH users are noted for having rapidly changing BMIs as they will try and bulk up between missions and jobs. This later on causes biochem problems such as diabetes, food allergies and the like.

Pain Suppression: PS is possibly the most common CAS use, this system numbs pain so that an injured soldier can keep fighting, or retreat instead of being carried out on a stretcher. The obvious problem with PS systems is that that number soldiers often fought off when they should have retreated, and then died on their feet after bleeding out.

Berzerker Aggression: BA is the next step up from Combat Aggression, Berzerker aggression is a chemical hallucinogen and hostility inducing chemical that send the user into a psychotic rage. The most common user of BA is the assault trooper, armed with melee weapons and charging headlong into armed enemy soldiers. Most BA users don't live long enough to develop PTSD or other problems.

Summary

The CAS is a poor man's super soldier, and is used mostly be disreputable sorts like mercenary scum, criminals, and poorer and lower tech forces.



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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Snah2
May 1, 2013, 13:30
0xp
I really can use this idea. It enhanced battle prowness in a cheap way by giving it nice variety of setbacks.
Voted Plasmawake
May 3, 2013, 15:23
0xp

From what I understand you have clearly pointed out that whole CAS concept is based on cost efficiency. However I see relatively little example as why this is such. You mention that a direct hit will destroy the drugs and render the harness useless. I'm left to believe that it has little to no armor, may be made of inferior materials, and does not administer drugs well to users.

I'd like to see more about the actual device itself. Give it a few more setbacks (just a small handful) and give them more in depth detail. Tell us what it is made of and how it works. Are soldiers afraid to use it due to its battlefield reputation? Is there a more expensive version that has major differences? You have a wonderful way of describing things, this part just needs background.

As for the drugs you have written up, they happen to be rather generic. They rely on basic rpg stats which they take their names after. I like how they each have setbacks with slight explanations. That explains why they are cheap and easily made.

You have put four good submission ideas into one condensed form. As a result they each lack an adequate amount of detail. You've included the cheap CAS object itself, the drugs it uses, the setbacks of drugs, and the history behind the drugs and CAS. My advice is to make three separate submissions out of the one.

Aside from the submission I'm noticing that you have started off the first three paragraphs and precursor with the word "the". It can become fairly repetitive or irksome to a reader when every line or paragraph begins with the same word. Don't fear though, that is a common problem and the word you are using is one of the most overused words. Try rotating out words or rearranging the sentences when you see this happening.

Scrasamax
June 2, 2013, 13:28
0xp
The cost of a CAS is insignificant compared to the cost of a suit of powered combat armor, or the cost of the genetic augmentation and training that goes into creating a supersoldier. As for the hows and the whys, it is a generic second line piece of equipment that is intended to be used by cost conscious or criminal elements who don't have the money or resources to field military hardware. Mercenaries, bounty hunters, criminal enforcers and high end thugs use the CAS.

It is made of plastic, and the chemicals are injected into the body by means of a hypodermic sprayer (rather than a needle). The chemical usage is typically controlled by the wearer, but there are some users who trust the CAS minicomputer and bioreader to handle their chemical dosages. The Chemicals in an of themselves are fluff. They are there to create something that is almost as effective as the high end fighting men of the Cosmic Era without the high cost or maintenance. It can be broken, it can and is frequently abused by the users. The drawbacks should be obvious, juicing is bad. Pumping your body full of all sorts of chemicals and hormones is going to put you out of your prime quickly, there are going to be serious wear and tear issues, broken bones, natural biochemical imbalances, and so on.

And this submission was written quickly, in one sitting. Now that it is written I haven't been spending time thinking about it.
Voted valadaar
May 28, 2013, 11:03
0xp
Not a bad idea, though it seems to have been rushed and could some proofreading.

Voted axlerowes
June 2, 2013, 15:47
0xp
I suppose this is primarily about the chemical delivery system with some asides regarding the role it plays in scras's world. Juicers wear a harness that deliver drugs. The author didn't think very highly of the system or the people that use it.
Scrasamax
June 2, 2013, 17:40
0xp
The people who use it aren't supposed to be highly thought of, and the system itself is a dirty quick fix.

Write me up a virtuous juicer, a paragon of good public PR and I will award you 50 XP. If it gets better than a 4.25 average score, I'll raise it to 100 XP

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