The Invader Class
The Invader class is a multi-use, multi-environment light craft used by the Anunnaki. These vehicles are the main vehicle found on Iapetus and other non-terrestrial Anunnaki holdings. It is an impressive and powerful vehicle that is generally a match for most battlemechs, and a group of the vehicles can hold their own in an engagement with most light naval vessels. The vehicle resembles an upright letter H, with the outside pylons housing the A-pods that move the vehicle, as well as power generators, shield projectors, and sensor systems. The crossbeam is the fuselage and houses the crew, mission modules, and the computer and control systems.
Invaders are a hell of a sight. Everyone else is still working with the old paradigm, tanks and mecha, things with wheels or legs. The Invader, it just floats, it floats like a big ugly bastard. It's slab sided, and moves quick. It isn't the most agile, but in a straight line they can haul ass as the mood takes them. They aren't just armed with smart weapons and high energy beam weapons, they've got plasma shields and carry assault troops inside them.
The first line of defense on the Invader is it's plasma shield. This allows the vehicle to all but ignore anything smaller than heavy mecha weaponry. Even then, it takes high energy weapons to pierce it, or something like a hypervelocity slug from a rail gun. These attacks are still greatly weakened by passing through the shield. Explosives like missiles and rockets detonate harmlessly against the shield. Behind the plasma shield, the Invader has what the Anunnaki classify as light armor. Even without the shield, the armor of the Invader is sufficient to withstand direct hits from mecha grade weaponry, allowing the machines to go toe to toe with medium and heavy mecha with relative ease.
The Invader has a central turret mounted under the fuselage. This can rotate and shoot in the front and rear firing arcs, and can mount a variety of weapons. The most common load out is a twin linked accelerated plasma cannon, an armor piercing energy weapon that packs an impressive punch. It can also mount clusters of smaller lasers, smart missile pods, or even a drone controller bay. Smaller point defense weapons can be mounted on the pylons, but most Invader crews are comfortable with the protection of their machines and opt to not for basic anti-missile systems.
The Invader is a basic use vehicle operated by the Anunnaki, and is not used by any of their clandestine operations. The vehicle is most commonly used on Iapetus, where the low gravity is a hindrance to legged vehicles and wheeled vehicles. The hovering machines zip around at great speed, pivoting with ease. Many Anunnaki ships carry several of these machines in what crews refer to as 'toaster slots' as unlike mecha and wheeled vehicles, Invaders are able to cruise through space. Their range is limited by the supplies that can be carried for the crews, and it isn't uncommon for Invaders to be used as shuttles.
The Invader is an important component of the Anunnaki arsenal. Despite being classified as light transports, the Invader is part of the defense plan. The Invader Phalanx consists of creating lines of Invaders, with their shields overlapping. This plasma wall is impervious to anything short of the heaviest mecha weapons, and capital weaponry. Invaders have been deployed in action against expeditionary forces and recon units, quickly overwhelming their targets.
The Blockade Formation involves an Anunnaki ship deploying Invaders in ranks in front of it. These blocking Invaders are typically remote operated. A variation on this theme involves the Invader being used in ship boarding actions. The Invader can anchor to a ship hull, lower its fuselage to the hull, and deploy cutting lasers and boarding droids into the ship. This technique has been highly successful against deep space ships.
The engineers and weaponsmiths of the Anunnaki were given the basic task of producing a light logistics vehicle. They created the Invader in short order. Despite all the sophisticated aspects of the Invader, it has very few actual moving parts, and the development time was very short. The A-pods were sourced from Federation cargo carry-alls, the tandem power cores were taken from New Themysciran 'Artemis' medium mecha, and the weaponry were right from the Anunnaki arsenals. Once assembled, the vehicle proved reliable, easy to repair, and with it's armor and klein field generator, nearly indestructible.
The vehicle wasn't intended for actual combat use, but the added bits made it too useful to not use. There was a good deal of departmental hostility as the success of the Invader saw the Anunnaki end literally every mecha program they had in development. Other mecha and vehicles in production were stopped, and switched over to building new Invaders.
The Invader, quickly slapped together, created a major change. The mecha and even the variable frame fighter has been moved into obsolescence. The Anunnaki have moved away using such vehicles, going to Invader type vehicles.
The Intruder - a variant Invader, the Intruder trades armor and weaponry, even the plasma field generator in exchange for a more robust a-pod system. The shield has been replaced with a Mirage system, rendering it literally invisible. The main use of the Intruder is surveillance, and they are equipped with a fair amount of intelligence gathering equipment. In a strike role, the Intruder can carry exotic weaponry and deploy it covertly, such as dropping onto a ship's hull, deploying a Schwartzchild bomb and flit away as an artificial black hole devours whatever it was popped on.
The Trespasser - a drone, the Trespasser is used as a defensive patrol vehicle, and resembles a floating star. The points house drive systems while the central node houses the power system, AI, and weaponry. The Trespasser is armed with light beam weaponry, but Anunnaki gear. A single Trespasser can go toe to toe with a light mecha, while a cluster of them can take out a light warship.
The Vindicator - a full military version of the Invader, the Vindicator has a full combat AI, and has three weapon hard points instead of one. The armor package is upgraded to heavy, the plasma shield gains a back up generator and larger capacitors, and the power generators are upgraded. The central weapon mount has a fixed Higgs particle cannon that discharges in the 150 kiloton range.
The Assimilator - a workhorse variant, the Assimilator has no plasma shields and no weaponry, but the pylons have maglock capability, and it has a more robust drive system, allowing it to lift and carry heavy loads with relative ease. These are common, and most are used for construction and logistical purposes.