DISCLAIMER: I do not own DOOM or Marathon.
Chapter 3: Quad Damage.
"Once ingested, the subject effectively becomes a host for what was presumed to be the most powerful of Ul-Thranx Demons. Any weapon held by the subject is enhanced, giving them up-to four times as much projectile force and ballistic power. Though the effects are short lived, they can be devastating. During the initial testing phase, patient C-132 (a volunteer Tier 2 advocate) managed to decapitate three security personnel using nothing more than a pocket knife."
- Bernard Strauss, UAC, MIDA Division under Olivia Pierce
Mars City, Marine HQ...
The Marine HQ of Mars City is built into a rocky cliffside, a short jog away from the Central Hub and high enough to overlook the Martian landscape. Despite the nondescript name, it is a UED facility, a place of military privacy away from the UAC's skeptical eyes, and begrudgingly allowed by Samuel Hayden, to help ensure funding for Argent Energy production and distribution. The UED know about the Demons, and they know about the Battleroids... but as long as they don't know about the UAC Holding Blocks— which are used exclusively to house Demons for study and dissection (and are temporary holding pens for their Battleroid/Ul-Thranx experiments)— then Hayden does not have much to worry about, at least in terms of funding.
Exploring Marine HQ proper, the Marines of the United Earth Directorate are not machines. Sealed in War Caskets and armed with Delta-12 Chainguns, they can give off the impression of mechanical soldiers, but they live and breathe like anyone else. Death row inmates, given a second lease on life under one condition; thirty years of UED service. Those who answered the call learned later what happened to the poor fools who refused, seeing as they ended up in the force anyway... with parts of their brains overridden with UAC-patented, UED-stolen New-Brain-Chips.
But, even with that war crime being kept under wraps (just like Battleroids), most UED Marines were still Human at the end of the day; and in Mars City, being Human meant more than they could ever know.
Now though, before the difference between Human and Battleroid and Demon would ever be important, two soldiers simply sat down and enjoyed their universal-issued MRE. A small tin of packed meat; a packed box of just-add-water, instant mashed potatoes; and a can of tomato-bacon-bean soup. CRAM, InstaMash, and Pork n' Beans; their food brands proudly supporting the UED's militia, in an MRE complete with a can of pure H2O, the words EMERGENCY DRINKING WATER across the drink's container in massive, bold text. In a normal military, this would be water stored away in the case of tampered water supplies, or radioactive fallout; but on Mars, this was the standard water container.
An easy to transport container, for the journey through space.
"I need something carbonated in my system, you want anything?" one of the two, a spitfire tomboy that more-than-earned her nickname of Wildcat, asks her companion. Once upon a time she ruled the streets, but a few too many gang wars and run-ins with Military Police landed her in New Alcatraz.
"I'm good," the other answers, a strong man by the moniker of Wolfe. He would dwarf Wildcat outside of their War Caskets, and is actually younger than he looked; one of the poor souls sentenced to death row for a crime he didn't commit. For some the UED recruitment was a second chance at life, for the truly damned it was their first. "Bastille keeps threatening to pull rank on me if I drink anymore Sarsaparilla."
"I thought he was a Private, same rank as you?"
"He's also a Medic, not a Marine. When it comes to health and safety, Medics outrank everyone, even Sarge."
"Right, well I'm off then. Watch my food for me, yeah?"
"Like you're giving me much choice."
Mars, Battleroid Factory...
The UAC Base of Operations is aboveground, obvious from even starships entering atmosphere, and built close to the ground floor of the Argent Energy Tower. Unlike what was just described, the Battleroid Factory is built under the Martian soil, in-between both the UAC Base of Operations and Mars City; having been given a proper name and designation after the creation of the Gimel Series Battleroids. The Aleph Series, Recon 54, were limited to the seven Maykr-Sentinel-Chips; the Bet Series, Bad Batch, were only ten in number before the entire Series was scrapped; but the Gimel Series Battleroids were perfect.
They were made the same as the Bet Series, the usual New-Brain-Chip, Synth-Demon-Muscle, and Regenerative-Titanium-Skeleton, as well as the UAC mimic of the Maykr-Sentinel-Chip, the Faux-Maykr-Sentinel-Chip. The unoptimized Argent Energy of the FMSC would normally cause rampancy in the Battleroid, temporary bouts of madness (baring one) where they could no longer tell friend from foe; but eventually a solution was made.
The Argent-Energy-Optimizer attaches to the FMSC embedded in the Battleroid's heart, and is named for what it does, auto-correcting the Argent Energy and realigning it constantly, bringing the chance of rampancy down to zero... or at least as close to zero as possible. There is still the problem of their increased dependency, but that's nowhere near as immediate a problem, so it's been shelved for the time being. They will follow the chain-of-command implicitly and without delay or distraction, and currently that's good enough.
Now with the creation of the Plasma Rifle, weaponizing a new variation of Argent Energy (Blue Argent) that works in opposite polarity, restoring long-dead Human tissue and burning living Demon matter, the Heavy Assault Rifle— a longtime staple of Earth's armed forces— became outdated in record time. But the UAC still had plenty of HARs lying around, and plenty of unspent bullets. The solution was an easy one, the Plasma Rifle would become a mainstay for the UAC Marine, while their storage-filling HARs would become the mainstay of the Gimel Series Battleroids.
A storage problem and an arming problem fixed with a single order.
But a new problem, a candidate for the Quad Damage sphere. It's the most powerful of the Ul-Thranx Demons, with virtually no downsides; well, none aside from increased killing intent. Normally that would be quite problematic, but Hayden and White have been practicing the extent of their new Ul-Thranx powers. Bonding with their chosen Demons is different from using them, their changed skin color a sign of the Soul-Breaker energies now at their command.
To Soul-Break is to harness the uniquely colored lightning of the Ul-Thranx Demons, to wield the spheres, despite the limited time. The Battleroids bonded to the spheres are different, completely unchanged (sans the skin color) yet able to summon the Soul-Breaker power in an instant; although they do suffer the negatives, if mitigated, while their red and yellow lightning crackle around them. Hayden becomes more aggressive in tone, bordering furious when her patience is tested; while White's heartrate skyrockets to lethal levels in a normal Human.
So with these two in mind, the Battleroid that bonded with Quad Damage wouldn't be too much of a problem; hopefully.
Mars, UAC Holding Block 23...
Rex Fordo, of the Gimel Series Battleroids, is known among the UAC as the Independent Dependent. There was always something... not right, about Battleroids implanted with FMSCs. In addition to their drone-like acceptance, they could never remember their premortem lives correctly, unlike the Aleph Series and their MSCs. But every calculation has an outlier, an anomaly; and the Gimel Series anomaly is Rex Fordo. By all accounts, he shouldn't exist; he's loyal, dependable, a quick-thinker, and a prodigy with tactics and weaponry; newer UAC recruits didn't even know he was a Battleroid.
Was it moral to test Battleroid effectiveness by pitting them against the Demons they have captured in their UAC Holding Blocks, running simulations against the forces of Hell by pitting them against captured specimens? Did it matter if it was? Would Demons think twice about throwing Humans into their arenas, considering the Gore Nests made in ritualistic sacrifice to summon them in the first place?
Unlike the Aleph Series and Bet Series, the Gimel Series have yet to see real action against Hell's forces; though they have fought real Demons and suffered real casualties. And of them all, Rex Fordo was the best in the sims; to the point of leading his own squad of Gimel Series brothers and sisters, Trauma Team.
And now, with his hands against the Holding Block's wall and a harsh breath through his nose, Fordo's skin takes on a purple hue, Soul-Breaker energy aligning itself inside.
Rex Fordo, Independent Dependent and Gimel Five-Hundred-and-One, was now the first Battleroid to become a vessel for the Quad Damage sphere.
AN: Wanted people to know and not just speculate, so here are the current (vaguely) important references so far:
Eve Hayden; Samuel Hayden, shortened, is S. Hayden, which is pronounced Satan, so I thought naming his daughter Eve (Adam and Eve) was a good idea
Robert Blake, Gheritt White; Marathon
Rex Fordo; Star Wars, Captain Rex and Captain Fordo
Wolfe, Wildcat, Bastille; Alien Swarm Reactive Drop
United Earth Directorate and UED Marines; StarCraft
Salisbury Steak, Sugar Bombs, CRAM, InstaMash, Pork n' Beans, and EMERGENCY DRINKING WATER; Fallout, the water's specifically Purified Water from Fallout 4
I have no plans on sabotaging the story I have in mind just to fit more references. If it doesn't work in the world, it's not going in.