The Patrol Pod

The Patrol Pod is a low speed aerial vehicle that combines the maneuverability of a helicopter with the cost and ease of operation of a motorcycle. It is a single or two seat vehicle with a bubble style canopy, a motorcycle handlebar style control stick, and a rear mounted A-Pod. The A-Pod allows the craft to move freely about without concern from jetwash, backdraft, or the hazard of sucking something into an engine, a serious concern in the often debris ridden cable spider-webbed alleys of the favelas.

Origins

The Patrol Pod was originally created for police and SWAT forces working out of major cities. Other options existed at the time, such as the common ground based automobile and motorcycle patrol vehicles. These vehicles proved vulnerable in the urban terrain, easy to trap in confined spaces, and prone to either being destroyed or stolen. Jetpacks, and jump packs also exist, but these modes of transport are dangerous, and require a large amount of training to use safely. Among the safety concerns for these units was not only their chance of critical failure and explosion, but also the hazard presented by the heat and exhaust from the small high power motors used to power them.

Eventually a small A-Pod Racer manufacturer, Shiggs-Mapone of Neo-Miami, took the idea of the hoverbike to the next level. An engineer, L. Wayne Grayson, attached the race configured A-Pod from a Shiggs-Mapone EAD-Great Star racer and attached it to a Weyland PlasmaGlyde hoverbike chassis, swapping out a few components, such as the standard power core for a more robust one, and adding an aerodynamic windscreen for the pilot. While hideous to look at, the resulting vehicle was capable of full movement across all three axes, without using a thrust generator, external combustible fuel source, or an expensive data interface system.

New Nuyork and the Mobile Police

New Nuyork, with it's massive urban sprawl and interconnected arcologies, had a need for highly mobile vehicles, but didn't need the high speed associated with jet and electrojet craft. Seeing prototypes of Grayson's Hoverglyde, the Metro police ordered 700 of the pods modified for police use.

The Mobile Police proved useful and effective, and the NNPD demonstrated how well this simple new technology could be used. Police officers, equipped with half SLAB body armor and smart guns, mounted on the bikes, were capable of suppressing urban uprisings, controlling rooftops, and denying insurgents high value targets like police helocraft.

Amerikka Command

How AC got access to the patrol pod is questionable, but their use of the pod was not. The Command took the simple, rugged design and armed it to the teeth, with the most common payload being a swivel mounted chaingun, typically a light magnetic automatic, and hard points on the engine pod for guided missiles. The Amerikka Command Trouble Bubbles proved a menace, as the small craft seldom registered in mecha sensors as a threat, and were seldom engaged. Infantry and power armor were left to face their fast moving well armed threats often alone, and often working through the difficulty presented by a communications cutting shroud generator.

Inspiration

Above the hoverbike there is a place in fiction for flying motorcycles. Cobra had the Trouble Bubbles, Judge Dredd had flying bikes, and the Rule of Cool says motorcycles are cool, and anything that can fly is cool, so having a Flying Motorcycle is Cool Squared.

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