[Khazan City, lowtown] "Cease and desist, mister... the KPD are already on their way; there's no point resisting." Jennifer Chase, an officer in the Khazan mobile police finally had her quarry cornered on a rooftop. A man in his late thirties, dressed in a beer-stained shirt and trousers stood a couple of paces away from the edge of the roof. In one hand he held a pistol, and in another he had his arm wrapped around the neck of a young woman, around 13 to 14 years of age. "Never! I'm never going back to that hellish place you call a 'mental institution', not EVER!" Jennifer's eyes narrowed, as her finger tightened around the trigger of her police-issued S&W LW-10 laser pistol. The man ground his teeth, glaring at the officer whilst having his pistol trained on her. "Alright officer! Stay back!" he yelled as suddenly, he had the muzzle of his pistol pressed against the girl's temple instead. "Stay back if you don't wish to see her brains on the floor!" Jennifer hesitated, before taking a few steps back. The girl squirmed in the man's grip before she spoke, "No dad, please don't do that... two wrongs do not make a right... please turn yourself in..." The revelation that the man's hostage was actually his daughter struck a chord deep within Jennifer. "Leave your daughter alone, mister! She has absolutely nothing to do with this!" A demented grin slowly spread across his face. "So, since you wanted to save her so much, you better do as you're told!" The man thumbed back the hammer of his pistol to show that he will not hesitate to take the hostage's life if provoked. "No officer, don't!" the girl shouted as Jennifer Chase lowered her weapon. "Drop your weapon, at once!" Jennifer took a deep breath as she slowly laid her laser pistol on the floor. "Okay, now let the girl go!" A few seconds of uneasy silence descended upon them all, as without warning the man gave his daughter a vicious shove, sending her over the edge of the roof. "No!" Jennifer shouted as she attempted to make a dash for her weapon, which was lying on the floor. "You are so dumb, officer!" A shot hit Jennifer in the stomach, causing the officer to cry out in pain. Biting back the pain of a bullet in the gut, Jennifer grabbed her pistol just as another shot hit her in the shoulder. "No way!" the man gasped as the officer still managed to raise her weapon and let loose a single shot - one which nailed him squarely in the chest. "Tell me it isn't so..." this was the last thing he said as he tottered backwards, falling off the edge of the roof and compacting the hood of a KPD squad car, one of the several which just arrived on the scene. "I'm afraid I can't go... on..." Jennifer mumbled as she slumped down onto the floor, just at the time she thought she could hear the sound of ionic thrusters nearing. "What happened?" Metalneck, Jennifer's MARS-550 (Mobile Armoured Robot Suit ver. 5.5) arrived at the scene, only to find his pilot - and colleague - lying on the floor in a gradually-spreading puddle of blood. "NO!" the MARS shouted as he swooped in and held carefully held Jennifer Chase in one of his mighty hands. "Yo Jen, speak to me..." Jennifer strained, and looked up at Metalneck, whose face showed a great concern for his partner - if that featureless metal faceplate of his was capable of displaying emotion, that is. "The girl... is she..." Jennifer asked. "You're hurt bad!" Jennifer shook her head. "...the girl whom the madman threw over the rooftop. I must know what happened..." Metalneck nodded. "She's fine... I arrived just in time to catch her in mid-fall." The officer managed to muster a smile. "Good work, Metalneck- ugh!" The officer coughed, as a trickle of blood ran down the corner of her mouth. "Metalneck to all units on scene! We have an officer down! I repeat, Officer Chase is down! Need medical attention pronto!" The MARS radioed in a distress message to other units before turning his attention back to Jennifer, whose eyes were starting to close. "Hey, don't die on me, partner!" Jennifer patted the 16-foot mechanized behemoth's armoured forearm reassuringly. "I'll be fine, I think... I've been through far worse than this." Metalneck heaved a sigh of relief. "I know you will be... in these two years we've faced life and death together... and I know that together, we will make it." Jennifer Chase looked up to the vast blue skies. "Two years?" Metalneck nodded. "Yeah, haven't you forgotten? It was on this same day and month, two years ago when we first knew each other..." Grabbing hold of Metalneck's right leg, Jennifer pulled herself up, resting herself on the MARS' lap. "Yes, yes... it's all coming back now... it was on this day, two years back when I graduated from the mobile police training programme... I was so proud on that day; let's start from the beginning, shall we?" Metalneck nodded. "Yes, keep 'em talking... that's right..." Metalneck thought.
KOM-ium Armour Plating
Body Armor: Supreme
"...remember that day, just a couple days before we were actually assigned to the Khazan Arena?" Metalneck looked up to the skies as he replied. "Yes, Jen. I still remember that day..." [Flashback, two years ago at Khazan City Industrial sector] The fire which broke out at PetroX Chemical Works had quickly grown into a raging inferno by the time the Khazan City authorities arrived at the scene. Firefighters and paramedics swarmed around the scene to evacuate workers and tackle the flames, while the police swiftly sealed off the area. "Look at that... it must be like Hell inside there..." Jennifer Chase commented on the roaring tongues of flame and billowing columns of smoke. "No..." a PetroX Chemical Works foreman groaned as two firefighters helped him to his feet. "Ted... *cough* Ted's still inside, all the way back there!" The foreman pointed behind him, towards the interior compound of the chemical plant, which had become little more than an ocean of flame. "No good!" A few firefighters tried to enter the blaze, but soon realized that not even their armoured firefighter uniforms could withstand the heat and flames, and quickly fell back. Jennifer stepped up to the firefighter captain. "I'll go, then. Metalneck and I." Metalneck's armoured chestplate slid open as Jennifer Chase climbed into the exposed pilot compartment. "Wait a minute, officer Chase! You can't just go in there!" A KPD lieutenant barked as he ran up to Metalneck. "Your duty is to seal off the area to prevent civilians from entering the disaster zone and thereby endangering themselves... your act is reckless and irresponsible, and you're not only endangering more civilians, but yourself as well!" Jennifer shrugged, and Metalneck did the same action likewise. "But sir, at the police academy I was taught that the KPD's code is to 'serve and protect' - if we do nothing and let harm befall someone, then wouldn't we be not living up to the standards of our code?" The lieutenant's face turned red, but not due to the intense heat of the flames. "Look here, Chase, this is no time to argue about philosophies! I am giving you an order to remain here!" Metalneck's chestplate closed and sealed up as Jennifer continued, "At any rate, as long as it's still possible to save him, I will do it." Without further ado, Metalneck strode forward, into the heart of the inferno. "Jennifer! Jennifer Chase! Come back here, this is an order! My God, this kid... damn!" The lieutenant could do nothing but watch as Metalneck continued to proceed deeper into the blaze. "This is like walking through Hell..." Jennifer commented as Metalneck simply walked forward, ignoring the hellish heat as if he were inside a sauna. "According to my available data, this mix of volatile chemicals burn at over 1,000 degrees centigrade, hotter than burning brimstone - this, Jen, is hotter than Hell. Still, this doesn't bother me..." Jennifer Chase smirked at her friend's witty reply. "C'mon, Metalneck, we've got someone to rescue- WHOA!" A chemical tank next to Metalneck exploded without warning, showering the MARS with a rain of burning chemicals and metal fragments flying at bullet-speed. Instinctively, Jennifer brought Metalneck a couple of steps backwards. "Oh ye of little faith..." Metalneck said as he casually dusted himself and pressed onward. "Have you forgotten that the MARS-550 are developed by KOMBG for a variety of purposes ranging from everyday law enforcement to small-scale urban warfare. Our KOMium armour plating is designed to withstand low-yield nuclear weapons. Speaking of which, scanner sweep picked up a single lifeform up ahead." A man in his late twenties, clad in a red plait shirt and denim overalls lay on the floor, surrounded by flames and with his right leg pinned under a fallen girder. "Help me! Help!" The man shouted as Metalneck approached. "Hold on, mister, we're coming!" Metalneck grabbed hold of the girder and effortlessly lifted it off. "Thanks officer..." the man replied. "For a while I thought I was done for, till you came... you're like an angel from heaven!" Jennifer Chase nodded. "Come on, let's get out of here..." All of a sudden, another deafening explosion was heard as Metalneck threw himself protectively over the man, crouching over him. "DANGER! Brace yourself!" A second explosion was heard as a jet of flame rushed forward, engulfing the MARS. "Alright, the coast is clear. Let's get out of here..." Metalneck gently cradled the man in his hands, and using his shoulders, smashed his way out of a nearby wall. Outside the chemical plant, everyone was prepared for the worst. "We can't control the blaze any further... this entire section of the factory's going up in flames!" The firefighter captain shouted as another series of explosions created 100-foot jets of flame. "Look!" One paramedic exclaimed. Emerging from the blaze was Metalneck, carrying Ted in his hands. "He's probably sustained a few fractures and first-degree burnsÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½ut I see no grave damage done..." Jennifer said as Metalneck carefully laid the man on the floor for medics to attend to him. "Glad to see you're both alright as well, though Metalneck would be needing a new paint job..." the lieutenant commented. "But really, Chase, from the way you handle your job, I sincerely believe you need to take a one-week vacation sometime soon!" [Cue present] "We really put on a show that day, didn't we?" Jennifer asked. "Yeah. And to think it was only our first week on duty..."
"Hmm... what about that time we faced off against one of the Khazan Arena fighters?" [Flashback, ten days after the PetroX Chemical Works incident] Jaycynda Ashleana tumbled, rolled and backflipped as Metalneck unleashed a hail of autocannon fire, bouncing off the surrounding walls and mocking at the MARS' sluggishness. "She's fast! I couldn't even get within an arm's reach of her!" Metalneck grunted angrily as he attempted to throw a punch at his feline-esque adversary, only to have her jump onto Metalneck's forearm, run up the length of his arm and land a somersault kick to the face. Although the impact did no damage to the 16-foot armoured behemoth, it served its main purpose, for Jaycynda to use Metalneck as a springboard and keep her distance from the MARS. Seeing that Jaycynda is not only a wanted criminal on their list, but a FPL contender as well, Jennifer's superiors have decided to place her and Metalneck against this elusive individual in a FPL fight in order to defeat and arrest her. "Cool down, Metalneck! If we keep up like this, we won't get anywhere." Jennifer spoke to Metalneck. "Any ideas, Jen?" Metalneck asked in response. Jennifer nodded. "Just sit back and watch me..." Jennifer Chase fired one of Metalneck's laser cannons; as expected, Jaycynda easily avoided the attack, this time sliding right between Metalneck's legs. Jennifer smiled calmly as she activated the scanner sweep function on her cyberlinked HUD. A green window appeared at the right-hand corner of the optics display, showing a blue dot which represented Metalneck's position, and a fast-moving red dot which represented her adversary. Jaycynda smiled as she leapt towards Metalneck from behind, but Jennifer Chase simply nodded as she saw the red dot approaching from behind on the radar display. She had her adversary's position locked in... "From the rear. As anticipated..." Jennifer swung Metalneck's left fist, dealing the feline-esque Jaycynda a giant backhanded punch - the MARS' fist easily the size of her torso. The impact threw Jaycynda nearly 30 feet backwards, smashing into brick wall. "I think you hit a little too hard, Jen..." Metalneck replied. "But scanner sweep still indicates a lifeform, she's still alive, though I don't think she'll be doing any more acrobatics for a long time to come." Jennifer Chase smirked. "Well, let's just hope she likes the taste of hospital food. Contact the precinct, tell them to send for a few men and an ambulance - we've got one Jaycynda Ashleana bagged up." [Cue present] Metalneck 'smiled' and replied. "Let's just hope she likes the taste of hospital food... boy, that was such a classic line." Jennifer Chase held firmly onto Metalneck's forearm. "Metalneck, my hands... I think my hands are getting cold..."
Metalneck shook Jennifer slightly as her eyes once again began to close. "Hang in there, friend! Hang in there! No, don't close your eyes! Whatever you do - don't fall asleep!" Jennifer Chase smiled and opened her eyes. "Thanks for your concern, Metalneck. Say, do you remember another notable battle of ours during our assignment in the Khazan Arena?" Metalneck nodded. "Yeah, I think we could talk about this one..." [Flashback, three days after the Jaycynda Ashleana incident] Carrion stood with his arms spread out, an eerie look of serenity on his gaunt countenance as men, monsters and machines alike withered away into nothingness around him. Flesh shrivelled and turned into ashes while metals corrode and disintegrate - even the very ground Carrion stood on transformed itself into a blighted, diseased landscape. "For your crime of mass-murder, the HQ has issued orders for us to shoot to kill if necessary. Don't make our job difficult, turn yourself in, Carrion." Metalneck raised his KOMBG-maunfactured mech railgun. Carrion chuckled softly to himself and spoke in an ecclesiastic tone, "No man or mech can stop what God has set in motion... have you come here to become One with God, like many others had before you?" Carrion continued to walk forward, the eerily serene expression never leaving his face, the ground beneath his feet turning into blight. Jennifer knew full well what would become of her and Metalneck if they stood on that blight - they too would become 'One with God', as this foul being claimed. "Fire!" Metalneck fired his railgun, unleashing a hail of U-238 rounds at Carrion. "You seek to oppose God?" Carrion spoke as he continued to advance, the projectiles disintegrating in mid-flight as they got near him. "But worry not - for God is a forgiving God... he will even give wilful sinners like you a chance to become One with him and experience joy unspeakable..." Jennifer Chase gasped as Metalneck's paint job began to peel and crumble. Both knew that not even the MARS' KOMium armour can survive for long against this man's blighted presence. Unless she acts quickly, in no time both Metalneck and her will become 'One with God'. "Sorry, but the 'God' you mention is hardly the God I know of..." Jennifer brought Metalneck into the air. A high-pitched whine could be heard as the MARS engaged his ionic thrusters, taking him and Jennifer high above Carrion's blighted presence. "Perhaps later..." Carrion smiled calmly. "But in the meantime, there are many others who need to become One with God... I hope you seriously consider..." Jennifer cracked her knuckles. "Well, how about this - let's see if God is like anything you described - when you report to him!" Metalneck said nothing; he received Jennifer's message clearly as he trained his railgun on Carrion, the plasma cannon under the gun barrel glowing a pale blue. "Increasing fusion core output to 150%... channeling energy output to plasma cannon..." Metalneck said as he charged up his plasma cannon. The recoil of the tremendous plasma blast threw the MARS several more feet into the air. "I feel sorry for you..." Carrion continued to stand with his arms spread out, with a serene expression on his face. "...but God will forgive you nonetheless-" A smoking crater, 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep marked where Carrion once stood. "Did we get him?" Jennifer asked. Despite her calm and collected appearance, she was actually scared silly by him. "I think so... scanner sweep indicates no trace of Carrion." Came Metalneck's reply as the MARS touched down at the edge of the crater. "I don't know WHAT this guy's made of... and I can't be sure if we really destroyed him - for all we know this might just be a temporary inconvenience to him. At least we've done what we're ordered to do - to put a stop to his rampage in the arena... dunno if it's for good, but we stopped him nonetheless." [Cue present] "Oh, that one... yeah, it pretty much made us the talk of the precinct for quite a while after that." Metalneck remarked. "To tell the truth, many a time even though I seemed like I knew what I was doing - in actual fact I was scared half to death of some of the stuff we encountered in the arena..." Jennifer Chase laughed softly.
Weapons Creation: Supreme
- Ranged Attack Only
- Area Affect
"I'm feeling a bit tired... I think I needed a rest..." Jennifer Chase tried to close her eyes again, the effect of severe blood loss taking its toll on her. "No, don't! Jen! JEN!!!" Metalneck shook his friend, but her eyes remained closed. "If you can still hear me, let me tell you this - I don't know where you are right now, but if you see a bright light in the distance, DO NOT go into the light!" Jennifer murmered in reply, "Yes, Metalneck... I hear you loud and clear. I don't see any light in the distance." Metalneck sighed in relief. "Thank heavens... I was about to tell you of one of the high points in our lives. Still remember the time we sparred against Uberman?" Jennifer giggled as a smile came upon her lips. "Oh, yes, certainly... I remember that like it was yesterday." [Flashback, one month after the Carrion incident] "Yeow!" Jennifer squealed as Metalneck narrowly avoided a concussive blast from Uberman's arm blasters. "He's GOOD! Damn, I mean, really GOOD!" Metalneck gasped in astonishment as Uberman weaved his way through the air, avoiding a burst of railgun fire and laser blasts from Metalneck's weapon systems. "What'd you expect? He's Uberman; he certainly isn't leader of the SLJ for nothing..." Jennifer replied as she pulled a trigger and launched a homing missile at Uberman. "I must say you impress me, kid!" Uberman said as he twisted and turned in midair to avoid a homing missile which Metalneck fired. Jennifer Chase blushed at Uberman's compliment. She's still three days away from her twenty-first birthday, and from what she knew of the illustrious SLJ leader, it's not often he says something like that to someone her age. "Incoming!" Metalneck shouted as Uberman suddenly caught hold of the missile and threw it back at the MARS. "Got it!" Jennifer fired a laser blast, blowing the missile to bits before it came close. "We've been had! That was just a diver- CLANG!" Uberman flew through the cloud of smoke made by the exploding missile and nailed Metalneck on the chest with a blaster-powered punch. "Ugh!" Jennifer Chase grimaced as Metalneck shuddered under the tremendous impact, the great strength of Uberman's U.M.A. backed by the concussive force of his blasters. "You okay, Metalneck?" Metalneck nodded. "Jen, his blasters aren't so powerful. I can take several hits without risking damage to you or myself." Jennifer Chase smiled in response - it was time for her to go for broke on this one. "Good to hear that. Let's party!" Uberman noticed a second too late as nearly every panel on Metalneck's armour flipped open to reveal gun turrets, missile batteries and energy blasters. All of the weapons fired at once, and Uberman was caught offguard by the ferocity of the attack. "This is going to hurt..." he thoughtas he took a full hit, sending the SLJ leader spiralling towards the ground. Uberman eventually regained control, stopping only three feet above ground. A quick run of diagnostics revealed that he was fully operational, but a few spots in U.M.A. had been severely weakened by the attack. "That wasn't very nice of you, Miss Chase. Now it gets personal..." Jennifer Chase gulped as Uberman once again gained altitude, rolling to avoid another salvo of blasts from Metalneck. "He's closing in on us! Are you ready for hand to hand, Metalneck?" Jennifer Chase asked, a tone of panic in her voice, though deep within she was far more panicky than she sounded. "As ready as I can be, Jen." Metalneck replied. At the last second, Uberman tackled Metalneck by the waist, taking him higher into the air than his thrusters normally allow. Then, without warning, Uberman changed direction and started to rapidly decrease altitude. "Metalneck! He means to ram us into the ground! Do something!" Jennifer Chase exclaimed. "I... I'm trying to break free! But his strength is too great and his jets are far more powerful than my thrusters! Brace yourself for impact..." Metalneck and Jennifer Chase felt helpless. [Cue present] Jennifer Chase chuckled as she recounted how she faced off against Uberman in a sparring match. "He really creamed us good, didn't he?" Metalneck asked. "Yeah... now that I think of it, it seemed kinda dumb of me to volunteer to spar with Uberman back then. But it was an opportunity of a lifetime..." Metalneck looked to the skies, "Yeah, and the skies back then were just as blue as today... it's really an honour that we earned praises from Uberman that day." Jennifer nodded weakly. "Yes, indeed... this is one memory I'll cherish forever..."
Target Acquisition System
"Y'know, Jen, the truth be told, I myself wouldn't know what to do if it weren't for you..." Metalneck said as he watched the clouds above. "Just like that time..." [Flashback, two weeks after sparring with Uberman and not long after a run-in with some very violent unnatural occurances around Captain Oro] "Listen, miss, it's all a misunderstanding!" Metalneck said as he avoided the furious pecks and swipes of an enraged giant penguin. "Get her, Penguin!" Muchiko yelled. Her friend didn't really need to take any instructions at this moment - Penguin was pretty mad that Metalneck came out of nowhere and landed on him, allowing the bad guy Muchiko spoke of to get away. All of Metalneck and Jennifer's explanations and reasoning were getting nowhere, and sadly, the only alternative is self-defense. "Look, Miss Muchiko, I don't wish to hurt you or your friend Penguin... I apologize for my actions earlier, but I must also assert myself that assaulting a law officer is a felony," Jennifer spoke as she rubbed her cheek, still hurting from that fierce slap Muchiko delivered upon her. "I don't want to hurt any of you badly..." Metalneck said as he sidestepped a furious charge from Penguin. "How are we going to stop them without causing serious injury to either of them?" Metalneck asked as he ducked under another swipe. "Use riot-control ammunition... but take care not to- ugh!" A moment of distraction allowed Penguin to get in with a bearhug on Metalneck. Penguin tightened his grip, causing the armoured hull of the MARS to groan slightly. "Structural integrity dropping! 80%... 77%... 75%..." Metalneck raised an arm, aiming a gun at Muchiko as Penguin tightened his grip again. "Uff! I can't get a clear shot..." Metalneck winced. "Let me help..." Jennifer added. "Steady your hand like so..." the officer moved the control handles a little to adjust the position of Metalneck's arm. "Then allow the target acquistion system on the computer make the fine-tuning and error adjustments." Metalneck writhed in Penguin's unrelenting grip. "Hurry! Cuz' I can't go on like this forever... 69%... 66%..." Jennifer Chase took a deep breath, and betting on all odds, let loose with a single rubber bullet. At all costs she must avoid injuring the girl... "OW!" Muchiko cried in pain as the rubber bullet hit her in the forehead. The girl fell to her knees, weeping in pain, a slight bruise on her forehead, but nothing more. Penguin squawked in shock, promptly releasing Metalneck and rushing over to Muchiko's side. "Now. Shock cannon at 20% power..." Metalneck aimed for the base of Penguin's neck, before firing a concussive blast from a shock cannon. "Awwwk..." Penguin let loose a squawk of pain and surprise as the blast hit him in the back of the head, making the giant avian slump unconscious to the ground next to Muchiko. "Sorry..." Jennifer apologized. "But because it was our fault that we started it, I shall not press any charges against you." Metalneck knelt down, his chestplate sliding open to allow Jennifer to exit. The young officer walked over to the unconscious Muchiko and Penguin, and placed a rectangular box next to them. "Here, take this top-grade filet mignon as a sign of apology..." Jennifer said as she returned to Metalneck. "Let's go... we've got ourselves a lot of paperwork to do now..." [Cue present] "I feel really bad... never met Muchiko and her friend again since then, but I wonder if she'll ever forgive us?" Jennifer whispered. "Let's hope so... it's been more than a year already. Like the old saying goes, 'time can heal most wounds'. Muchiko's like a little child deep within... and you know that little children never hold grudges." Jennifer Chase nodded feebly. "Yeah, but sometimes, some wounds refuse to heal, goes another old saying..." Metalneck replied sadly. "Sad, but true... let's hope this won't be Muchiko's case, speaking of which-" A shadow blocking out the overhead sun brought Metalneck's attention to the sky above, and was elated to see a medic shuttle hovering overhead, just as KPD officers made their way up to the rooftop. "Jen, help has arrived... Jen?" Jennifer lay with her eyes closed, and was absolutely silent. "Jen! JEN!!! Don't die on me, friend! Please don't!" Metalneck was close to tears - if he had tears - as he shook his friend. "Mmmm..." Jennifer whispered as she patted Metalneck in the forearm and opened her eyes. "Oh ye of little faith, like you said to me back then at PetroX... I already said that I'll be fine... I just needed a little rest, that's all." Metalneck heaved a sigh of relief, wiping off imaginary beads of sweat from his forehead. "What happened then?" Jennifer smiled and replied as medics helped her onto a stretcher. "I don't know how to say this... I was walking along this dark and misty tunnel... I saw a bright light in the distance... it was all warm and comfortable - I almost stepped into it, until I remembered what you told me... and one more thing..." Metalneck stepped up to Jennifer Chase. "Yes, Jen?" The officer winked and made a gun-and-trigger hand gesture at Metalneck. "Promise me you'll do a good job keeping the streets of Khazan safe while I'm away, would you?" Metalneck stood to attention as he saluted. "Yes, Jen!"