Okay, before I launch into the story, and while I have everyone's attention, I'll go into the technical details. This figure was made entirely from an IM2 Mk V Iron Man figure with lots... and lots... of Apoxie sculpt and green stuff. In the end, I find it reminiscent of the toys based off of Mike Mignola's work.
The figure represents not a single character, but a type of combat armor. The armor concept is 100% origional and based on my forthcoming sci-fi novel, "E.H.U.D.: Prelude to Apocalypse". You can find out more on its tvtropes page. Which has a link to my blog. Where I publish the book WIP. Please read it. Y'all are my free editors...
And speaking of the novel, here's an excerpt from chapter one, explaining the way the armor works. The story thus far: Brilliant young architect John Donalson has just come out of a long-term vegatative state and is in the hospital, watching TV.
Behind the reporter loomed a massive wall that, based on the swarms of soldiers moving behind her, must have been the Pentagon.
John signaled for the volume to increase, then sat back and listened.
“—after more than thirty billion dollars and fifteen years spent on this project, most members of congress seemed pleased with the results of the ADI Bill.”
The scene suddenly shifted to an obstacle course in the middle of a field. John expected to see footage of soldiers running the course but was shocked to see what appeared to be hulking robots, human shapes covered in grey armor, running, jumping, climbing, and in one case breaking through the course.
“But all agree,” the reporter continued in voiceover, “that the best thing to come out of the research program is the Enhanced Human Ultimate Defense, or E.H.U.D., combat system, unveiled at the Pentagon last week.”
The scene now showed brief shots of different people, all identified by tags at the bottom of the screen as either being senators or members of congress, as they supported the reporters’ remarks.
“Oh, this bad boy is going to turn the war on terror around!”
“I have absolutely no doubt that, in terms of lifesaving mechanisms, the E.H.U.D. is the greatest invention since the seatbelt.”
“Within ten years, I hope we can have these ready for every soldier in the field. If we can keep our own safe, then we don’t have to be so harsh with the enemy. Think of a war where all we do is capture, disarm, pacify, and leave. Clean and simple.”
The reporter returned, again standing in front of the Pentagon. “But for all the enthusiasm over the E.H.U.D., many members of the public have wanted to know exactly how the system works.”
John certainly wanted to know. Those things in the obstacle course looked heavy and ungainly, but they were moving and maneuvering like Olympic athletes.
“The actual mechanics and design of the system are of course classified. However, the AmeriNews Network has been fortunate enough to be allowed an exclusive look at the inner workings of the E.H.U.D. combat system.”
The scene changed again, this time to an interior space that seemed to be a cross between a lab and a garage. A man of about thirty stood in front of a locker, dressed in white t-shirt and shorts. He held up a thick black one-piece suit. “This,” he said, “is the first layer of the E.H.U.D.”
He began to pull it on, entering through a slit in the front, then the scene faded into the future and the man stood fully dressed, with a black hood pulled over his head.
The man patted the thick material covering an arm. “The main part of the layer is a standard Gortex weave, able to withstand some good wear and tear, with fiber-mesh quilting on the inside.” He then leaned in close to the camera and shook a bit of the material. “But through the middle of the layer you have packets of a special gel, normally fairly sloshy, which turns tremendously solid when force is applied to it.” He squeezed off a section of the suit on his leg, then hit it with his other hand. The little node was as solid as a bowling ball.
“If a soldier gets hit with a non-ballistic impact, the attacking force basically hits a brick wall, which then fades out into the surrounding gel, blocking and absorbing most of the force, leaving little impact on the man inside the suit.”
The scene faded again and now the man held up a pile of rubber tubes and webbing. “This is the next layer of the suit: the pneumatic sinus system.” After a brief flurry of editing, the man was in the tangle. It criss-crossed over him, trailing thin tubes that connected to sturdy-looking bladders next to joints and along major muscle groups. John noticed that there were also what looked to be medical braces hidden under the sinuses, strapping the tubes close to the body.
“This is where the system really shines,” the man says. He ran in place for a moment, then crouched and jumped. The camera jerked upwards to follow him as he flew into the air and flipped just shy of hitting the ceiling. He landed in a deep crouch, and John could see the tubes and bladders pulsing.
The man smiled into the camera. “The pneumatic sinus system works with the body’s own movement to pump fluid and build up pressure, which can be stored and released in the normal patterns of moving. For instance, if you bend your knee, you move the fluids in such a way that they are sucked and stored in the bladders on the back of the thigh.” As he said this he demonstrated. “When you straighten the knee, an opposite suction is created in the frontal pouch, the fluid is released, and it changes position, providing a significant blast of power to the wearer’s simple, muscle-powered action. In addition to the purely mechanical suction power, the system is equipped with motion sensors that will also create suction and change the internal pressure based on perceived moves, so you don’t have to force movements; the suit works with you. With this on, a soldier need not worry about chasing combatants, getting out of firing zones, or dealing with battle-field rubble ever again.”
The camera faded again, but this time the man didn’t hold up a part of the system and explain it; he merely appeared, about a foot away from where he had been, covered in a thick black suit, much like the first layer. The shape of his body also appeared less human, more like the final combat systems shown earlier in the report. “This layer here is essentially like the first layer; it provides shock absorption and protection to the wearer. Unlike the first layer, however, this is meant to protect against ballistic impact.” He patted several disproportionately large mounds that corresponded to muscle groups, as well as several bulky areas between the mounds. “There’s reinforced armor here, similar to flak armor: Kevlar and Gortex fabric with ceramic plates. In addition to providing personal protection, this layer also protects the sinus system from damage.”
There was another camera shift, and now the man’s transformation was nearly complete: he was covered in thick plates of what had to be armor, with straps and buckles covering the seams and a large frill coming up to protect the neck and parts of the head. “And here at last is the final layer. Advanced body armor, covered in additional Kevlar and Gortex. I’d like to say more about it but,” the man paused and smiled, “I’m afraid that’s classified.”
He reached into the locker behind him and pulled out a full-faced helmet. He slipped it on over his head and turned back to the audience.
John felt a sudden revulsion at this final change: the face was now a pair of dead eye-slits and a grille of some sort where the mouth should be. The mask was corpse-like and alien, yet at the same time weirdly familiar.
The man spoke, his voice clear but modulated. “The E.H.U.D. system is not only proven to effectively protect soldiers against most small arms fire, it has also been proven to protect its wearer from large calibers, traditional armor-piercing rounds, weight loads in excess of half a ton, and high yield explosives. With one of these on, a soldier is no longer a mortal man. He or she is now an enhanced human ultimate defense.”
Now the reporter returned, walking in front of the wall of the Pentagon. “So there you have it: the E.H.U.D. combat system. Promised to be able to save untold lives on the field of battle, it has been fast-tracked for mass production by several military contractors. Despite this, it still may be years before it sees wide combat usage. Until then, it will be deployed to National Guard forces all over the country, for use in both peace keeping and disaster relief efforts. So, be on the lookout for these battlefield behemoths in a town near you very, very soon.” She winked at the camera. “And remember, no matter how scary they may look, they’re here to keep you and the men and women serving in our armed forces safe. For AmeriNews Network, I’m Maria Alvarez.”
To read more, just check out the blog.
Please... please read more. 8)