Inertia Wall

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by Bill Logan

Operating off the same basic concept as the Inertia Screen, this device is designed to protect a larger number of characters. The technology consists of two poles and a control cabinet, linked by heavy cables and powered by a type 1 Parabattery.

The poles are each 2 meters in height. The base of the poles can be rammed into the ground and will hold in place firmly, or a four-legged stand can be attached to provide stability when the ground is too hard for insertion. The poles can be placed up to 10 meters apart from one another, providing an area large enough for up to ten characters to stand side-by-side and be protected.

The control cabinet is a small box into which the Parabattery is placed and some simple controls are mounted. The Inertia Wall is turned on and off with this device, and can have its polarity determined by a simple selector switch (the polarity refers to which direction objects can travel freely – protected characters can shoot projectiles out of the screen as effectively as if it weren’t there).

Once activated, the Inertia Wall is more effective than a standard screen. It will completely halt all inertiabased attacks coming from the direction protected against. The Parabattery drains 2 SEU per turn. Additionally, for every die of damage that would have been caused to someone on the other side of the wall, subtract an additional 2 SEU. When the Parabattery is drained, the Inertia Wall fizzles and dissipates.

For example: An Inertia Wall is in place and set to protect four individuals. An enemy fires a full burst from an auto pistol at them, which would have caused 8d10 damage (5d10 + 1d10 per person after the first, in accordance with Alpha Dawn rules). This means this turn the Parabattery is drained 10 SEU (two for the normal per-turn cost, eight for the damage it absorbed).

Note that a person can’t walk through the Inertia Wall’s protective field from one direction, but can from the other. Standing within the Inertia Field wall is dangerous – as it messes with the body’s own electromagnetic process, causing 1d10 damage per turn.

Clever opponents will fire at the poles or the controller cabinet with energy-based weapons (the wall protects the poles against inertia damage). These can take 100 structural points of damage before being destroyed.

The Inertia Wall costs 5,000Cr and weighs 100kg in total, though this cost doesn’t cover the parabattery that is required to power it. It’s able to be stowed on a vehicle and pulled out/assembled for use in about 3 turns. It’s most often fixed in-place on wall-mounted guard posts and in hallways where last stands are made to cover a dignitary’s escape.