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Desde and the Worldshaker by jenblanc Desde and the Worldshaker by jenblanc
Xanisad are conquerors. They are a bloodthirsty race, determined to take whatever land may lie over the horizon. They build devastating weapons, some of which leave buildings standing.

Worldshakers are not those weapons. Developed by the aggressively expanding Ovic nation, they are frontline war machines, intended to storm ahead and crush the enemy lines, or more often air-dropped into the center of strategic areas—the origin of their name. They are as much demolition machines as adaptable weapons platforms, and one of the most effective tools of terror the Ovic have to offer.

Their pilots are considered sociopathic by even by the high standards set by the rest of their race. They are usually found when beginning their mandatory military service as young adults with histories of violence. Some are discovered before this, scooped up by the Worldshaker corps while being tried for violent crimes. From this pool, only the most intelligent are selected, ones who can be trained to deal with the technical aspects of piloting.

They are, to a man, berserkers. They are the only type of mind able to cope with the firsthand destruction and collateral bloodshed the Worldshakers inflict. Augmenting this are neural implants that allow them to sync with their machines. These neural interfaces only degrade their mind further, and they tend to become less and less attached to the “real world,” focusing on their machines as extensions of their bodies and reveling in bloodshed and war.

Other cybernetics are mandatory, beginning with the removal of the pilot’s wings. Though Xanisad are incapable of flight, their wings are used extensively for display and nonverbal communication. Ostensibly, this is so they fit within the chest cockpit of the Worldshaker and can take the enhancement to sync with their mech’s back thrusters, but serves the additional purpose of “dehumanizing” them and making them highly visible in a crowd.

Other enhancements are usually reparative, replacing limbs crushed or mangled in impacts or lost as a consequence of a pilot’s violent life off the battlefield.

Desde is a veteran Worldshaker pilot, with all the mental and physical damage that entails. On top of an arm and leg lost in high-velocity maneuvers, part of her cybernetics administer sedatives to keep her stable off the battlefield, a common enhancement. Even then, she frets, leaving the stewards assigned to her platoon hard pressed to keep her from methodically destroying her quarters. She squabbles constantly with the other pilots, who invariably take out their excess aggression on one another. She is a notorious troublemaker in her platoon, and has paid the price with a section of her skull.

When she’s in a good mood, she may simply toy with the people around her, quietly stalking them through halls or perhaps tormenting them physically. The only way to avoid this is to have her begin talking of her Worldshaker, which she speaks of as something between a lover and a child. More often, she simply decides she is in no mood to chat.
My entry for Seventh Sanctum's Weapons and Warriors Contest. I used the Weapons generator to get the name Worldshaker, and the Anime Fanboy Fantasy Fulfiller to get "The cyborg dragongirl robot pilot!" I enjoyed the thought of twisting someone's fanboy fantasy into an unlikeable monster.

And, since I was thinking it the entire time I was drawing, "In Soviet Russia, weapon holds you!"
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Submitted on
July 23, 2011
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