Government: Iromakuanhe Astral Commonwealth Organization: Various Type: Mental Isolation Barrier Class: Aj-ARPB-01a (Aj-G1-1a) Designer: Altjira Biomedical Manufacturer: Altjira Biomedical Production: Mass Production
The Iromakuanhe race have overcome many of their weaknesses through genetic engineering and physical enhancement throughout the centuries, but some flaws were difficult or even seemingly impossible to redress. The greatest of these was their vulnerability to psionic attacks and sensory overload, caused by the very nature of their empathic abilities. Because every Iromakuanhe is filled with a network of redundant neurotransmitters that allow them to link their bodies to living machines and intuitively respond to the emotional states of others, they have no natural defenses against intrusion, and even the elite Temple Guard with their decades of self-discipline and conditioning are able to easily shut off intruders into their minds.
With internal threats coming from the various leftovers of Makuori bioweaponry, reliable and easily reproducible psychmetric protection has been a holy grail of sorts for the Commonwealth's defense industries for many years. Still a certain degree of complacency had set in in this field, as the ever-disciplined Temple Guard were capable of providing any sort of security needed in regions occupied by so-called psionic threats.
The pace of development changed significantly when warnings from the Freespacers alerted the Iromakuanhe Astral Commonwealth to the threat posed by certain races, in particular the malevolent Mishhuvurthyar and imperialistic Nekovalkyrja. A certain level of panic caused by these revelations, combined with new innovations bolstered by the appropriation of alien anti-psionics allowed for the rapid developpement of psychometric barriers that afford protection against these threats. Quickly distributed to the Astral Vanguard, they entered standard issue for all forces that operate beyond the Iruotl System.
The Radium operates by essentially hardening the boundaries of the empathic fields generated by all Iromakuanhe, turning their perceptions completely inwards. Similarly to how a perpendicular current will stop electrical flow, this system redirects the flow of their mental abilities to lock out intrusion and insulate from brute force attacks. Iromakuanhe who are more disciplined and trained in the usage of their empathic talents will find commensurately greater increases in protection, although the majority will be defended against most attacks.
The downside to this is that the Iromakuanhe psyche was not meant to exist in isolation, so the effect of being locked away with your own abilities is haunting for many. Although training could foreseeably overcome this major psychological issue and develop techniques to properly sustain viable defenses while keeping their empathic channels open, the majority of Astral Vanguard soldiers will find the experience wholly uncomfortable.
Generally weighing less than half a pound, the Radium system is deployed in two main formats, depending on the needs and preferences of the user. All deployments are fundamentally creations of biotechnology despite their appearances, and integrate artificial neurons and complex self-repairing biological circuitry in their construction that allows them to generate the desired functions. When punctured or damaged, they leak the same burgandy synovial fluid released by damaged VANDR.
The first is a thin collar coated in a layer of metallic smart material that adheres to the wearer's skin and flexes. The collar does not have any visible buttons or displays, and instead deploys tendrils into the user's nervous system (or netware implants). The devices are subsequently entirely thought controlled and can display augmented reality tags over their vision to keep them posted on detected conditions. Avoid compromising the use of the Entry Ports, the collar stretches and forms around those areas rather than over them.
The implanted variety is far less visible, but similar in function to the collar variety. Because of the invasive nature of the implant and the difficulties it can cause for a person's empathic abilities and take away one of the core aspects of Iromakuanhe culture, they are less used. Like the collar version, the implant type is impulse/thought controlled and displays telemetry when needed.
The Radium is in effect, functionally identical to the Psionic Signal Controller save that it is only applied on the personal level, although it sacrifices the PSC's stealth and range for increased protection (bolstered by working with the Iromakuanhe's natural abilities). Radium units are generally priced between 8000 and 12000 KD a piece, with the implanted version being the slightly more expensive unit.