Millions of credits in development, and they still could not make a helmet which was comfortable. Sargent Dreker grumbled to himself. Sure, the helmet would prevent the nasty over/underpressure brain damage a close explosion would cause - and only if it didn't 'crack', but it weighed a ton and the straps never seemed to fit right. Plus you felt like you were wearing a fishbowl.

His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden flash ahead and to the left. Drop! his training told him and even before he could form the thought, he was collapsing towards the ground. Even before he landed a massive shock wave caught him and shoved him back hard.

The impact knocked the wind out of him and he could hear the almost annoyed sounding whirring of the units MUL-FS getting back on its feet behind him. Then his comm unit got really busy...

'This is Bravo Section.. (scrrrrrrrtkc) .. We're taking fire!... (scrrrrrtch)'

'Roger Bravo Section. Hold position. Copy'

'Roger Sergeant! Bravo Section holding position. Enemy using heavy stuff Sergeant!'

'Roger that Bravo. Alpha Section - Status?'

Silence. Alpha section had been up where the explosion had occurred. Either their radios were all out, or the explosion had got them all. Dreker accessed A's video and biometric channels but nothing was coming back.

'Bravo - Pull back to my position - Over!'

'Copy that Sergeant. We are falling back.'

Using his helmet mounted tactical display, he pulled the enemy contact data from Bravo and fed the coordinates to the MUL. He then accessed the MUL control on his HUD and ordered a fire mission.

'Spy Eye followed by Optical-Only smoke barrage.' The Spy Eye used IR primarily, so the smoke would not impact it's observation much. As far as he knew, the rebels did not have thermal shields.

Upon command, the mule stiffening its legs, and five of its launch compartments opened. Compressed air pushed first the spy eye up and away. Three meters up the rocket motor ignited and boosted the unit higher. Above the target area the motor stopped and a small parachute supported the spy eye as it slowly dropped down. The four other projectiles ignited their motors as well, and instead of parachutes, assumed a ballistic trajectory and dropped into the target area. On impact they detonated and expelled vast amounts of inky smoke.

'Bravo Squad - Thanks for the Cover Sergeant. Out!'

Under cover of the smoke, the enemy fire became less accurate and the squad was able to pull back.

Okay, they're clear. he thought, Now this one is for Alpha.

A few more commands, and a dozen more of the launch compartments opened. Again compressed air launched projectiles up three meters and then a dozen rocket motors ignited as one. Four of the projectiles had their motors burn a slight bit longer, and with a slightly higher trajectory. The first eight landed in the target area in a rough diamond-shaped pattern. These rockets each carried about 40 explosive sub-munitions that each would burst into about 100 armor piercing flachettes. Into an area of about 2 acres, 40 000 flachettes flew with lethal force. Several seconds after this deadly swarm, the remaining four rockets detonated, showering the area with burning white phosphorus.

Too little, to late for Alpha, but they were avenged.

Full Description

Technical Specifications

Dimensions(Operational): 112cm (H) x 124.3cm (W) x 253.6cm(L)
Mass: 213kg (Unloaded),328kg (Full load)
Construction: Extruded Fullerfiber skeleton
Power Supply, Primary: 70Kw Microfusion powerplant,2 week endurance.
Power Supply, Secondary: 5kw Hydrogen fuel cell, 8 hour endurance.
Protection: 7mm Layered Ferroceramic plating
Primary Processor: .3 HCE (Human Cognitive Equivalent) Cogas I processing array.
Primary Systems: 24 Class II Vertical Launch cells
Secondary Systems: TX70 Standard Wireless Communications (including infrared laser),Dynasent Gyroscopic Stabilizer,
Air compression System, Advanced Ballistic Targeting System

Standard Programming: Multienvironment mobility,Basic Military Operations

The MUL-FS550 is a large, quadrupedal robot designed to provide fire support at the platoon level. It stands about a meter tall, a meter wide, and two and a half meters long. A small fusion powerplant provides nearly 100hp for two weeks without refueling. It has a maximum walking speed of 11km/h.

It has been referred to as the Walking Dinner Table by troops due to its flat body and four legs. Those on the receiving end of its firepower have other words for it.

It has an array of 24 (6 x 4) vertical launch tubes. These tubes accept a wide range of ordinance types allowing great mission flexibility.

It is not programmed for independent action and is significantly less intelligent then other military robots. It is a development of the standard MUL-LS470 Logistics Support robot (Nearly identical to the MUL-FS(Fire Support) but not equipped with launch tubes, targeting system or compressor). It cannot directly fire its missiles - the order must come from a properly authenticated Command and Control system (issued to all NCO's and officers of a given formation).

It is also capable of detonating all of it's carried ordinance on receipt of proper codes as well as the setting of a special switch accessible behind the left side maintenance panel.

In addition to typical munitions (HE, Smoke, Chemical, WP, Illumination), several special purpose projectiles exist:

  • Submunition Warheads
  • Mine Dispensing
  • Sentry Drones
  • Scout Drones
  • Spy Eye
  • Anti-Armor Hypervelocity Armorpeircing
  • Due to the relatively large warhead that can be carried - each cell can accommodate an 150mm(~6') projectile - there is a lot of room to provide different types of ordinance.
    Each Cell can be replaced with a Quad unit of Class I cells, which launch 30mm munitions, or a total 96 30mm launch tubes.

    Due to its role as a tactical support system, the range of it's ordinance rarely exceeds 3 kilometers.

    There is a variant -MUL-FS550-ICE which has a methane-powered Internal Combustion Engine for use in specialized environments. Those models have space only for 18 standard launch tubes to accommodate the bulkier engine and fuel supply.

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