The Star Army
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Developed in YE 33 after three years of research and development into the limitations of Yamataian Power Armor technology, the Kirie is the first Thought Armor developed by Project THOUGHT and uses the Type 33 Pilot Pod as a cockpit. This is a unit developed for performance more than cost effectiveness, and is thus a limited production model for those with high levels of skill and higher-than-normal reaction times. In [:calendar:ye_39]], the Kirie was upgraded to utilize more modular weapon systems and had additional hardpoints installed.
As the lower cost sibling Keiko Thought Armor is more than sufficient for the mental reaction times of Yamataians and most Nekovalkyrja, the Kirie is almost always used by Nekovalkyrja who have trained extensively and have optimized their reaction times and combat skills to the point where the Kirie can better handle their control. Yamataians who possess one are usually given theirs through their station or through involvement in the early development of the machine. Due to this, it is considered an “elite” model, reserved for test pilots, aces, and sometimes nobility.
The earliest research into what became the Kirie started in YE 30 after then Shosa Kage Yaichiro was involved in a stealth mission during which he had to don a Power Armor. His physical size, however, prevented him from using a then-modern Mindy or Kylie. He was forced to use a Super PHALANX Power Armor which did not have sufficient stealth capabilities for the role in which it was to be used. He was forced improvise and to act as a diversion due to this, which nearly cost him his life. This was the second time he was nearly killed by the obsolete power armor’s shortcomings, the first time being in the previous year when the lack of an equipped Psionic Signal Controller in the same Power Armor left him vulnerable to a Mishhuvurthyar psionic assault.
Yaichiro started researching how to make a better Power Armor which could accommodate a pilot of his stature, but also for bottlenecks of the then-current generation of technologies. He discovered that a key drawback was the pilot itself – the joints of the pilot were contained in the complex joints of the Power Armor and kept the joints from moving too fast lest the pilot’s body take damage. Loss of a limb or head also had harmful or deadly results, especially in space. Wishing for a removal of this flaw the Power Armor design, Yaichiro established Project THOUGHT to help research the machine – both for political and security reasons as well as to give himself complete creative oversight. They started from the beginning of Yamataian Power Armor technology, the Lamia M1 Space Mecha, which was constructed with mechanical joints and at their target height, and tested high response joints and fully telepathic control systems – the Thought Armor concept. By the time Yamatai eventually addressed the concerns of height and developed a Power Armor capable of filling Yaichiro’s original requirements, the project had transformed into a full blown optimization program.
With the re-adoption of Starfighters by the Star Army of Yamatai, the technological path forked, and Project THOUGHT designed systems based on their research into the Thought Armor Concept to be fed back into the Starfighter program. In spite of this, however, the pursuit of a Thought Armor continued steadily, even as the Second Mishhuvurthyar War continued. The exact scope of Project THOUGHT remained fluid, and needs continued to be analyzed as the design was drawn up.
With the various designs, ideas, roles, and elements in the machine, the Kirie’s original mechanisms and systems kept encroaching on the cockpit and compacting the pilot. After a heavy night of work, Yaichiro finally folded the schematic into quarters and made a cut in frustration, which unfolded into a roughly peanut-shaped area. He made that area off limits, requiring that the Kirie be designed cockpit-first, with the other systems working around it. This presented unique problems and even more unique solutions, but the unit was eventually ready for construction in spite of delays.
Yaichiro dubbed the unit the Kirie after the art of Yamataian papercutting, referencing the frustrated cutting of the schematic which so influenced the machine’s design. The retronym “Ketsurui Improved Robotic Infantry Exoskeleton” was later applied to this to make it fit the Ketsurui Zaibatsu naming conventions, but typing “Kirie” or “KIRIE” are considered equally correct.
While a powerful and versatile machine, and certainly useful to those able to utilize its potential, the Kirie was not the mass production unit that Yaichiro wished for since its high cost reflected its nature. Due to this, a sibling unit was developed as a scaled down and cost effective version, which could still easily handle the needs of most mission profiles. Due to this, the Kirie was slated as a high performance “elite” model. The unit would see an upgrade in YE 39 to add more hardpoints, make its formerly integrated weapons modular, and generally increase its versatility and upgradability.
The Kirie is the first production Thought Armor ever designed, intended specifically to be as responsive as a pilot's thought processes could possibly allow. It is one of the most advanced applications that Project THOUGHT could create, is produced with less regard for cost than its mass production sibling, and is able to boast response times far greater than the standard pilot's reflexes and skills permit possible even for an NH-29 Nekovalkyrja. It is notable for using a frictionless joint system, for having a range of motion well outside that of other humanoid Power Armor or Mecha due to its largely ball and socket plus rotary limb design, for allowing fully panoramic sound and vision, and for being controlled fully by thought – with no tactical input or muscular actuation whatsoever. It is more a compact Mecha than a Starfighter and comes with a dedicated fetal-position ejectable cockpit that holds its sensors and computer, but it is no larger than the M1 LAMIA from which it was initially inspired due to careful cockpit and component placement. A significant amount of its armament also borrows from the heavily successful Ke-M2-2D "Mindy II" Power Armor and Ke-M2-3A "Mindy" Power Armor, though Project THOUGHT produced prototypes initially lacked some of the more legally restricted Aether and Scalar-based armament until KFY parts were made for refits.
Certain elements of the Thought Armor's advanced sensory systems are based on the “Skin Vision” of the NH-27 Nekovalkyrja, giving those with experience in an NH-27 body an early advantage in its use. However, the Kirie is known for having a vast array of options and capabilities which are unlocked as experience is gained, and is typically considered a high performance model for pilots who have already reached the limits of the capabilities afforded to them by the Keiko – the Kirie's mass production sibling geared toward regular personnel.
The cost of the Kirie’s parts and materials are prohibitive to mass production, further restricting it to the use of pilots who have proven their skill with the unit – though test models and models made specifically for military royalty also exist. Someone who pilots a Kirie typically has a lot of military and political backing, is an extremely good pilot, or is involved in testing the Kirie’s systems.
The Kirie is usually stored standing, but it can sit crosslegged (agura) or sitting on its legs in the traditional seiza position in a pinch to fit in cramped Power Armor bays. The torso splits across the waist, and the upper part of the Thought Armor lifts upward on supports to provide access to the Type 33 Pilot Pod inside. The pilot; optionally wearing a spacesuit, bodysuit, or a regular uniform; tucks their lower body into the pod in the fetal position. The pilot may use their inertia controlling ability to aid them if needed, but there is enough width to move the arms in the pod to make things easier. The top then lowers onto the pilot, but will not descend if it detects an obstruction which would be pinched in the seams.
The pilot may end up in a true fetal position, or a modified one where the arms are up further and closer to the head. They can switch between the two while in the cockpit as needed for emergencies, though the pilot should pick whichever position they think they can more comfortably maintain for extended periods, especially in planetary operations where there will be gravity. Once the pilot has connected to the SPINE or the Mental Transceivers in the Pilot Pod, the Kirie's sensory and motor input overrides that of the pilot's body. The pilot's body is massaged by the insert and cared for by the Pilot Pod's systems while the pilot's mind is free to use the Kirie as their body instead.
Piloting the Kirie is a different experience depending on one’s skill level. Rookies will find themselves piloting it much like their own body, and comparable in some ways to using Mindy-series armors increased in scale. This is intentional, as the learning curve for Thought Armor is supposed to begin with something that most pilots are already familiar with. Pilots often start with the Immersion System’s Directed Vision setting to get used to detecting things outside their range of vision without jumping straight to Panoramic Vision.
Things like handling Panoramic Audio and Paroramic Video take practice and getting used to, but a Mindy veteran will be able to fight at least as effectively in a Kirie as they could in their Mindy, with limiters available for in the various systems designed to prevent information overload in rookies.
Pilots will eventually start to experience an increase in their range of motion and response time as they grow more used to the machine’s movements and systems. The range of motion and response time of the Kirie far exceeds that of other humanoid craft due to its joint type and configuration, but is difficult to adjust to without practice. The computer determines what speed and range of motion the pilot can manage early on, and restricts it to that value, gradually increasing it as the pilot grows more able to handle the unit.
The pilot’s skills and experience eventually determine what abilities they learn to use in their machine. Some will favor the advanced visual properties for sniping or long range combat, some the audio properties for urban combat and locating enemy sources of fire, some will continue to develop high reaction and response time, and yet others may unlock completely different abilities by combining its assorted attributes. This is all true for the Keiko, but is especially so for the Kirie, as pilots who have earned their machines are usually experienced with the Keiko and have surpassed its abilities in some way or another – most of the earliest pilots to be able to handle the machine’s abilities were expected to be NH-27s or to have previously had an NH-27 body.
Due to the easy detection of Aether reactors at the ranges used in terrestrial or urban combat, the Kirie is capable of a Low Power Mode where its Aether Generator is deactivated and a less powerful back up source of power is utilized. Output is reduced to match the drop in power as well as to make detection more difficult, setting the machine in a configuration more fitting for urban combat than space combat. This includes a disabling of the machine's FTL capability and a rebalancing of the machine's weapon configuration to avoid energy-hungry weaponry.
To aid in this, weapons are specifically rated to indicate if they can be used with Low Power Mode or not. Weapons to be used in Low Power Mode tend to be kinetic, very light energy, or explosive weapons, which do not require the Aether reactor as a power source. Some heavy energy weapons may be compatible with Low Power Mode, but typically have their own power sources and are not always as concerned about detection avoidance as dealing high levels of damage.
Government: Yamatai Star Empire Organization: Project THOUGHT, Star Army of Yamatai and Ketsurui Fleet Yards Type: Thought Armor/Compact Mecha/Power Armor Class: Ke-M12-1B / PT-M2-1B Designer: Kage Yaichiro and Project THOUGHT Manufacturer: Project THOUGHT, Star Army of Yamatai and Ketsurui Fleet Yards Production: Limited Production
Crew: 1 Appearance: Humanoid compact mecha with various Mindy-inspired design elements and weapons. Often has dual swiveling backpack cannons. Typically painted in a white and blue scheme with red striping reminiscent of Taisa Ketsurui Hanako's Ke-M2-1H "Mindy" Power Armor. Units assigned to those of high rank or to those in the Ketsurui or Kessaku clans often have custom markings and colors. Custom colors also sometimes given to test pilots or high-scoring aces.
Width: 3’ 0” (0.9 meters) Height: 7’ 6” (2.3 meters) head height/with cannons rotated down or forward, 9’ 0” (2.75m) with cannons up. Mass: 335 kg (738.5 lbs)
Sublight: 112,422 km/sec (69,856 miles/sec) .375c in a vacuum FTL: 10c (Disabled in Low Power Mode) Atmospheric (Cruise): 1470 kmh (913 mph) at sea level, functionally considered Mach 1.2 Atmospheric (Max): 2205 kph (1370 mph) at sea level, functionally considered Mach 1.8. Limited more by frame than engines. Underwater: 160 kmh (100 mph) to a depth of 100m, in 1G.
Range: Indefinite due to dual Aether Generators and primarily Yamataium construction. Life Support can support a pilot's needs for 20 days, and support a pilot in stasis indefinitely. Lifespan: Undefined, recommended systems check once every 5 years, OS and Hardware upgrades as-needed.
Note: The range is largely defined by food, water, and air stored in the Type 33 Pilot Pod which serves as the machine's cockpit.
See Damage Rating (Version 3) for an explanation of the damage system.
The Kirie is primarily constructed of Yamataium armor, while units produced or refitted by Ketsurui Fleet Yards also have Xiulurium for the sake of stealth. As it had a strong armor, the Kirie had to utilize a resilient frame material that was comparable. With Zesuaium’s usage in decline, and Yamataium’s regenerative capabilities preventing it from being useful in precision machining, a new production method was utilized in the frame.
The frame consists of a Yama-Dura exterior with the proportion of Durandium Alloy in the alloy reducing steadily until roughly 3 cm into the framework, at which point it becomes pure Yamataium. Where possible, framework elements are wrapped in Yarvex to guide the healing properties of the metals.
This method of frame production is more costly and time consuming, but is intended to allow for the best combination of healing, precision, and strength without using Zesuaium. The proportions of Durandium in the Yama Dura mix are also used to guide where frame stress failures could occur, redirecting them to less critical sections of the frame.
The area around the Kirie’s cockpit is also given supplemental armor, to protect the Type 33 Pilot Pod from exposure and connect it to the joints. It is this which is visible as the torso, and what is typically painted if the unit has custom colors.
The Kirie’s armor is capable of volumetric projection and manipulation capabilities which can change its appearance to that of something else, or even render it invisible by displaying whatever is on the opposite side of the craft. This level of three dimensional volumetric projection has a range of three meters out from the Thought Armor’s hull, and can emulate red and green collision avoidance strips and lights. The functionality, while similar to earlier Power Armors, has some supplemental capabilities.
This was initially designed as a signal flare for ground and space use, but was enhanced to put out bright and varying wavelengths with the intention of overloading the optical sensors of enemy units, with the ability to flicker as well. The frequency of the light and the flicker is adjustable as the optical systems of various Mishhuvurthyar craft and cadavers are studied. This can cause anything from visual disorientation in the enemy pilot/brain slave due to seeing uncomfortable flicker and color change, to failures of the enemy unit’s optical processing in varying degrees. This system can also be used to distract enemies or temporarily blind organic eyes as an anti-personnel non-lethal measure. It should be noted that this may cause epileptic seizures in those susceptible if used with sufficient intensity.
The optical systems of the Kirie are designed to be able to handle and compensate for the light changes at the hardware level, and also protect the pilot from their impact.
Since the Active Camouflage System allows the transmission AND reception of light to be processed, the ability to emit tight beam lasers has been added to allow covert communication. These lasers can be emitted from or strike anywhere on the Kirie’s exterior and allow data transmission of many types, including audio and video. This functionality is fully integrated with the Immersion System software.
The cockpit block consists of a Type 33 Pilot Pod nestled inside an armored contoured insert which acts as the Kirie’s double torso joint. As such, the pilot pod is kept from being a weakness in the machine’s construction by being given additional armor, and the external armor can be painted a different color than the Pilot Pod. Yarvex splits the pod and the extra armor, to prevent shrapnel damage.
The Pilot pod not only contains the pilot in a compact area and leaves the Kirie’s limbs free of “organic obstructions” that reduce speed or range of movement, but it also allows full telepathic control, houses the Thought Armor’s computer system, handles life support needs, and acts as an escape pod. It even has a pouch which holds the same items as a Star Army Butt Pack, Type 29 and a Star Army First Aid Kit, Type 32.
This centralization of critical systems and the pilot in such a compact area makes the cockpit and pilot have a high chance of surviving a large amount of damage – a key aspect of the Thought Armor’s design.
Should the Pilot Pod need to escape the Thought Armor, the top and bottom halves of the supplemental cockpit armor can detach and split apart, and allow the Pilot Pod to escape. This takes the machine’s computer and software with the pilot, as well as any mission data. For good measure, the remnants of the Kirie can be self destructed after the Pilot Pod is out of range.
The Kirie is costly, however, and sacrificing the machine should be avoided if at all possible. It is possible to detach damaged limbs instead, or to eject just the top or bottom half of the Thought Armor.
Built into the hands are a pair of PT-M1-R3200 Scalable Graviton Beam Projectors, designed for the purposes of both grabbing onto surfaces and items securely, as well as to avoid having a weapon being knocked out of the Thought Armor’s hands as easily. Though they are intended mainly for this use, it is also possible to reclaim a dropped weapon or item from a short distance away, prevent other craft from going to FTL, throw off an unshielded enemy’s aim by manipulating the gravity in their area, or any number of other useful ways yet to be discovered.
A more powerful Scalable Graviton Beam Projector is built into the back of the Kirie, which allows the machine to tow a craft as large as a Ke-V6-1D "Hayabusa" Starfighter or a Ke-V8 "Kawarime" Fighter under full power, though at a predictably reduced acceleration. This specification is due to the fact these are the largest craft the Kirie is expected to deploy with, and makes them able to aid in the recovery of various probes as well. Depending on the type of engines used and the configuration, care should be taken not to damage the towed craft with the device’s exhaust. It is often recommended to use the CFS for propulsion in this situation, or to tow the craft from a fair distance.
It is not possible for the Kirie to carry a device larger than another Kirie or a Type 32 Pilot Pod along with it at FTL speeds.
The joint system of the Kirie is surprisingly flexible and complex. Many are Ball and Socket Project THOUGHT Frictionless Hybrid Joint supplemented by rotary joints of the same type, allowing for a range of movement simply not possible in a truly humanoid design. Every joint is in some way double jointed, and most joints that are normally lever-style like elbows or knees can bend in any conceivable direction.
The joints in the Kirie have dual modes, one of which is used for optimal speed and great precision by being frictionless, and the other being a bit slower (still fast, the same level as the Keiko) but having increased strength and still high precision. Some weapons may have very high recoil which requires the second mode.
The primarily Ball and Socket nature of the joints allow for the joints to detach and separate, giving the machine the ability to shed critically damaged limbs or components, swap in new limbs, or even have different mounted weapons or engines attached to the machine in this manner. The ability to easily remove components via the joints has been used to improve the modular nature of the Kirie's components. Even the joints connecting to the Type 33 Pilot Pod act as this type.
It should be noted that the joints in the Kirie are costly to construct compared to those of the Keiko. If needed, however, a Kirie can be fixed with a Keiko's joints and parts, with the expected reduction in capabilities. If absolutely necessary, parts of the Kirie can be left behind on a timed overload, and self destruct to varying degrees of damage to destroy an enemy. This is outlined in the Weapons section.
The main shielding needs of the Kirie are covered by the Ke-M12-P3300(PT-M2-P3300), a Combined Field System configured for optimal shield output. Due to this, it has a relatively high threshold and strength for its type. It is capable of operating in Low Power Mode, but excessive use may drain the power reserves quickly.
Since the Kirie is to be compatible with ground use, including inside of buildings, the Power Armor has a panoramic audio detection system comprised of eight Quad-crystal Crystalline Audio Sensor Array arranged in a polyphonic array to detect and determine the directional source of a wide array of sounds, manipulate the audio in real time as needed using the Immersion System’s Audio System, feed this data to the pilot via the THOUGHT Interface and quantum computer, and have access to it in records for later review after the mission. While there are advanced features which may be used to aid a soldier in combat, they are reliant on the pilot's experience and skill.
Like many variants of the Ke-M2 "Mindy" Series of Power Armor, the Kirie can obtain visual data through its active camouflage sensors. This system allows a full omnidirectional panoramic field of view at any given time, which can be parsed through the Immersion System with help from the quantum computer for processing, and then loaded in real time directly into the pilot’s mind via the THOUGHT Control and Sensory Interface (CSI). This typically manifests as the equivalent to Skin Vision, much like certain classes of Nekovalkyrja such as the NH-27.
Unlike in previous incarnations, however, a pilot can configure the Optical Tracking System to work with other CIES sensors in the Pilot Pod to display an array of normally non-visual energies and wavelengths for analysis as needed. This includes visual representations of magnetic, gravimetric, or spatial distortions, Aetheric energy sources, infrared (thermal) imaging, ultraviolet imaging, and many other things detectable by the CIES sensor package. Often, one only enables these capabilities as needed due to the potential cluttering of the field of view with the various visual cues. The Optical Tracking System is also designed to receive laser communications, which the computer can decode into data and process accordingly, making up half of the Laser Transceiver.
It should be noted that it is difficult and disorienting to use the Immersion System’s Panoramic Vision setting right away unless experienced with Skin Vision, therefore the Directed Vision setting is recommended for beginners.
The Primary Optics are a pair of adjustable unidirectional sensors with longer visual range than the Active Camouflage’s sensors allow and are equivalent to the Wide-Band Variable Optical Imaging Array on most smaller AIES-equipped Power Armors. Their use is typically for triangulating an enemy location distantly and precisely before attacking, or for gathering more detailed data on a specific object by focusing on it. They serve the same role as a pilot’s eyes, and are usually the main optics used when operating the Immersion System in the Directed Vision or Legacy Vision settings. These can also be lost without eliminating the combat effectiveness of the machine if the head is damaged, though attacks at longer ranges may be less accurate.
The Crest Optic is a third high power optic set between the Primary Optics which allows for yet more advanced multi-optic triangulation for target acquisition and analysis. It is set slightly lower than the other optics so that it can triangulate in an extra dimension to give added accuracy and range to its attacks. Rather than having two eyes that perform one trigonometric binocular calculation between them, having three eyes allow three binocular calculations (one for every permutation of two eyes)as well as one more complex trinocular calculation using all three eyes. This system allows for a great deal more precision compared to a standard binocular system as a result, boasting a magnitude in possible precision. The configuration is also useful for developing later three dimensional renderings of targets as well as calculating distance and scale. This particular sensor is unique to the Kirie, and is sometimes known unofficially as its “Third Eye” and is often useful for sniping or obtaining the maximum detail possible in recording and rendering optical data.
This eye is not used by the pilot in Directed or Legacy Vision settings, but it is used by the computer to double check the aim of a firing solution and allows an increase in accuracy even in these modes.
Unlike most Mecha or Power Armor, the Kirie has not only a main Aether Generator and Capacitor Array in the upper body, but has an additional power system consisting of a high efficiency compact fusion reactor in the left thigh and a super-compact capacitor array in the right. The latter is noteworthy as having twice the power reserves as the Keiko’s mass produced thigh capacitor system. These are carefully weight balanced for optimal operation. The purpose of these systems is because Aether Generators are easily detectible within a certain range, and there are times where stealth from this is necessary. This is especially true on planetary missions.
The Fusion reactor and the Aether Generator are two of the few things in the entire Thought Armor constructed with Zesuaium involved, but not for strength. Zesuaium’s lack of reaction to heat and electromagnetic forces make it a fantastic insulator, even in thin layers such as those sandwiched in Yarvex and Yamataium around the reactor, generator, and their respective cooling systems. Models made or refitted by Ketsurui Fleet Yards also utilize Xiulurium in these layers around the Aether Generator and Fusion Reactor to further minimize detection. The result of this is not only a greatly reduced (but still present) Aether detection range, but also the ability to use the fusion reactor and supplemental capacitor array in stealth and ground operations. If absolutely necessary, the capacitor array can be used most of the time, being recharged by the Fusion Reactor when time allows or automatically when the Aether Generator is brought back online.
With these two power systems in mind, many weapons for the Kirie and Keiko that are made for when the Aether Generator is turned off are rated for use in Low Power Mode. These are typically systems which rely on unpowered or self-powered systems such as projectile weapons or light energy weapons with their own power sources. Given that the primary reason for Low Power Mode is terrestrial warfare, the reduced ranges and output on some Low Power Mode weapons do not actually hinder the machine’s operation in this role.
It should be noted that this power system, when combining the high densities and the use of exotic materials, is notably high cost and is one of the elements which has been streamlined and simplified for mass production in the Keiko line.
Across the entirety of the Kirie's frame is an array of roughly three dozen small thrusters which allow for minute changes in velocity and rotation, generally aiding in control of the high speed machine. A secondary role of the thrusters is to aid in recoil reduction.
The most powerful thrusters are on the bottoms of the feet, and can assist in jumps in gravity or rapid direction changes.
Faster Than Light travel is also provided by the Ke-M12-P3300(PT-M2-P3300) CFS, but only at 10c due to the fact that the CFS is configured for defense more than speed. The CFS can also allow the Kirie to travel at sublight speeds of up to 0.375c as a backup Slower Than Light propulsion system. It should be noted that in Low Power Mode, the Kirie’s FTL capability is disabled.
Due to this, the Combined Field System is sometimes used upon initial launching of a space-borne Kirie from a ship or when in close proximity to friendly targets that could be damaged by STL engine output, such as when towing.
Aside from the Combined Field System's backup propulsion abilities, the Kirie has two main Slower Than Light engine types, which are easy to swap out as they are mounted in Frictionless Hybrid Joints. Due to the joints they are in, they are also capable of a high degree of thrust vectoring. It should be noted the upper limits to the speed in atmosphere or water have more to do with the frame integrity and the energy which can be safely used in matter than the upper bounds of the systems. Due to this, their top speeds are functionally the same.
The Ke-M12-P3301 is a Dual Stage Aether Drive option for the Kirie which allows for Stage 1 (Aether Jet) operation in atmosphere or underwater, or Stage 2 (Turbo Aether Plasma) in high altitudes or space. It is a relatively cheap and useful propulsion system which is useful when operating in atmosphere or in trans-atmospheric conditions. Most Kirie which see both space and terrestrial use are equipped with this engine configuration. While the engines are capable of high speeds in atmosphere, the frame of the Kirie limits it to 2205 kmh. It should be noted that the harmful effect of the Turbo Aether Plasma dissipates after a few minutes, though it can be detected on sensors for roughly a week. This is a KFY-only component due to legality.
The Ke-M12-P3302(PT-M2-P3301) is a Two Stage Laser Engine based on that of the Tsubame Prototype Fighter which, while usable on planet, is geared more toward stealthy space operation. Though very hard to detect in space unless the laser defocusing systems are engaged, it is easy to detect in atmosphere. It is also more costly to produce than the Dual Stage Aether Drive, though its usage costs are just as low as it does not use fuel in the conventional sense. It should not be used at high speeds in close proximity to populated areas while in atmosphere, and is usually limited to a 400 kmh speed limit. While the engines are capable of high speeds in atmosphere, the frame of the Kirie limits it to 2205 kmh. Many units which are space-based and rely on stealth utilize this configuration, as do early test units made before Ketsurui Fleet Yards’ production run.
The Kirie continues to use the concept of hardpoints to allow the craft to be better suited for various mission profiles. Though designed to carry systems to scale with its frame, the Kirie is capable of utilizing Mindy-series accessories as long as they can physically fit onto the Thought Armor's frame. This does not include the Mindy’s Teleportation Module, which is insufficient for carrying the mass of the craft. In [:calendar:ye_39]], the Kirie was upgraded to utilize completely modular systems and had two additional hardpoints installed on its hips.
See: Kirie and Keiko Accessories for specific accessories.
|Mid Backpack||Packpack Hardpoint||1|
|Upper Backpack Behind Shoulders||Shoulder Hardpoint||2|
|Outer Calf of Leg||Side Leg Hardpoints||2|
|Rear of Leg||Rear Leg Hardpoints||2|
Because of how the power system is set up and because the Kirie can detach parts of itself, it is possible for the Kirie to set a limb to overload at a set time, detach it from itself, and flee before an explosion. In a pinch, even the main Aether Generator can be overloaded and detonated, with the pilot pod (hopefully) making its escape. Losing a Kirie or its limbs, however, is very costly and should be avoided.
The maximum damage a Kirie can cause when self destructing all of its parts together is a Tier 12 explosion which is 28 meters in radius – a sphere two times the destructive volume of the Mindy's self destruct. Every doubling of distance from the epicenter of the blast reduces the damage potential of the blast by four times, or a reduction of roughly two Tiers. As such, the damage falls in line with the graph below.