Hello and welcome to the sixth Lore preview for Sword of the Nation.

This time, I would like to showcase a bit of information regarding the other chromatic protagonists of this tale: The Nightingale Series of Battle Suits that the main cast employs during their fight against the forces of the Ashen Reckoning.

Disclaimer: these previews aren’t 100% final and may be subject to change before the book is published, in addition to that, certain information will be withheld for spoiler purposes, and all graphics and imagery are to be considered placeholder until further notice. This is still a learning experience for me, so please excuse the bumps and turbulence.

And now, on with the show.

THE NIGHTINGALE SERIES

From the moment he was recruited into Gestalt to serve as its Quartermaster, Edram Pertz was tasked with one crucial mission: To conceptualize, give form, and assemble the full fledged battlefield solution that first drew General Exley’s attention.

To that end, ‘Eddie’ began to draft a new iteration of his fully interlinked battlefield proposal, one that he dubbed “The Gestalt Arsenal”.

All of the conceptual elements of his original overture were to be preserved: Bleeding Edge weaponry, gadgets unlike anything else in the field, and most importantly, a line of suits of armor far beyond anything else in the world. His original concept also envisioned a “Total Battlefield Operating System” that would link each element of the arsenal.

Vaifen’s National Intelligence Agency contains a vast amount of resources and assets in its repertoire—some of which are obscured with the utmost of secrecy, the Gestalt project as a whole was no exception. General James Exley relocated Edram from his humble apartment to a house in Ternion’s suburbs, a house that at plain sight was no different than the adjoining and adjacent ones in its vicinity. However, its basement was equipped with a workshop that had everything the young engineer required to begin working on his dream.

The “Battle Suits” were the centerpiece of Edram’s proposal for Gestalt. General Exley provided Edram with an ostentatious (but not unlimited) budget, a reasonable time frame of no more than a year, and a series of objectives to aim at when designing and creating the suits—a working prototype was the first order of business.

With his conceptual (but not combat ready) PeRTZtech-BSX0 Battle Suit silently accompanying him in the workshop, the pictures of his late father next to his desk, and the legacy of the Nasivern armors of eld present in his thoughts, Edram spent countless nights drawing, calculating, and imagining—before he knew it, a trimester had elapsed and he still had nothing concrete to show.

Disheartened, Edram began to doubt himself, nonetheless, he continued resolute that he was up to the task. After several marathonic sessions and copious amounts of junk food and caffeine, he came up with several conceptual designs for what would be the BS-10x line of suits. Some of those initial designs featured a full alloy frame, a bulky and clunky design, and varied shapes and forms. Ultimately, he was unconvinced by any of the initial batch of designs that his mind concocted. Edram discarded them and began from scratch, starting a new project on his computer that was much cleaner and reasonable, with the following goals in mind:

Provide a significant boost to the user’s combat strength and speed.

The suit would provide superb armor and resistance, without having a taxing weight footprint on its wearer nor impairing the user’s mobility. As a result, it would not feature a full body frame of armor unlike his initial designs, but rather, it would feature an underlying highly resistant bodysuit with a series of segmented alloy plates on its chest, back, and limbs.

The helmet would have to be visually stunning, capable of striking fear at the hearts of those that would dare cross paths with the wearer—but its design should never be at the expense of its user’s field of view. In addition, a clean heads up display was a must, one that would be handled by the eventual Operating System.

Said Operating System would also provide the wearer with a myriad of information, from weapon ammunition status to maps, target marketing, communications, and other forms of information via augmented reality.

Being the first of its kind—as the X0 was pretty much just a conceptual mock up ‘costume’ whose perspective features were merely simulated, Edram wanted to design the BS-10x suits with scalability in mind. The ability to upgrade the basic suit and equip it with specialized gadgets and equipment would definitely make the proposed BS-100 prototype a very adaptable suit.

With a solid road plan on his hands, Edram was only missing a name for the suit, after much deliberation he settled for ‘Nightingale’. Work on the prototype suit began in tandem with the accompanying software modules that would eventually become the Gestalt OS or gtOS. After another trimester of arduous labor, Edram had a finished prototype suit ready to present to Exley: The Nightingale suit.

The underlying bodysuit is made of a sleek, resistant, and flexible material. “Layered mesh plating,” he said to the General when he presented it. It grants the wearer unrestricted movement and a high grade of protection against blunt impacts and most common forms of firearm ammunition. A complex array of wires and sensors are woven into the bodysuit, they provide all sorts of performance and biometric data to be processed by the suit’s systems, which are housed on the helmet.

The chest features an array of armor plates, all sharp and symmetrical. The unique alloy that the plates are made of was created via a meticulous and arduous process that the Nasivern used to employ—a process that Edram had to adapt and modify around the limitations of Vaifen’s technology and available materials, with the end result being as close to the original as he could. A single plate provides protection to the user’s back.

The suit’s limbs feature angular and sharp armor plating that is similar to the chest’s, while the two shoulder plates sport a rounder design. The suit’s full closed helmet is mostly made of the same alloy used in the suit’s armor plates. It features a sleek and sharp visage, with a featureless mouthpiece, and menacing-looking eyes that illuminate in a bright blue hue. A V-shaped crest is featured on the forehead, it’s not just an aesthetic choice—it conceals two high range antennas that the suit uses for communication.

Edram provided the suit with a belt, its buckle has an angular pattern similar to the suit’s plating. Additional systems are housed on it, including an auxiliary processor and subsystems that complement the helmet’s hardware in case of failure. The Nightingale suit is powered by an ingenious array of flexible batteries that are distributed all across the chest, back, helmet, legs, and arms.

The arms and back contain a series of connectors that would eventually be used on Edram’s modular gadget and “add-on scalability” plans.

General James Exley was more than pleased with the suit, from the design, to the theoretical enhancements in performance that it would grant the wearer. Edram’s months of hard work had yielded results worthy of being proud, his unbound creativity and talents had borne fruits.

The suit, serialized as GT-BS100, was finished around the time Commander Erron Leitner was recruited to serve as the team’s leader; however, there was sheer size and shape discrepancy between the average-sized prototype and Erron’s tall and strong physique. As a result, Edram had no choice but to build a second suit more tailored to Erron’s measurements: The GT-BS101MA.

The idea of assigning each member a color came halfway through the Gestalt recruitment process. Commander Erron Leitner, the leader of what would soon become Gestalt’s strike team, sided with Edram’s colorful proposal, donning the blue color on his recently finished suit.

As the Ashen Reckoning increased the frequency of its attacks and time ran short, the modular nature that Edram Pertz initially envisioned for the Nightingale Series was scrapped, and is thus absent from the rest of the suits—including Erron’s. Nonetheless, vestiges of those features can be found within the Suit and Operating System’s source codes. A more simplified implementation of the idea served as the basis for the SED Hawk Drone pack that’s compatible with the prototype suit, which was modified and assigned to Cameron Bennett, the team’s tech specialist. Cameron chose to bathe her suit in pink.

And thus, the first generation of Gestalt Battle Suits came to be. The Nightingale Series consists of five suits: the Initial prototype suit—now pink, and four more: Blue, Yellow, Green, and Red. Edram’s ambitions were high, higher than the end result, regardless, he’s proud of his work, which is still second to none.

The Nightingale suits not only communicate with one another in real time, they can share resources and processing power if needed, they’re able to relay and bounce signals from one suit to another. Access to a high speed hidden communications channel was granted to the project so that Gestalt’s Operations Room and the wearers of the suit can be connected in real time, in both audio and video.

In order to make up for the removal of the modular upgrades, which was to be one of the Nightingale’s strongest assets, Edram began to experiment with a replacement feature, something he calls Overdrive Burst, an “ace up one’s belt”  according to him—still highly experimental and untested. The Overdrive Burst can be accessed via the suits’ belts.

Following the teachings and traditions of the Nasivern that came before him, Edram is aware that despite the technological superiority that his suits can achieve, they’re only metal and circuitry. The warrior’s soul—the missing component that his technology lacks—is what their eventual wearers will provide.

Combining both his technology with the indomitable and unyielding fighting spirit of a soldier is, in Eddie’s eyes, a path to victory.

The spark of creation that is Edram Pertz does not rest on his laurels. The Nightingale suits have not seen their fair share of use yet and he already began developing a second generation, much more ambitious and specialized than the Nightingale themselves.

Having drawn inspiration from Tokusatsu series for this book, it’s only natural that the suits themselves are a tacit protagonist of this upcoming saga, and much like the characters themselves, the suits will evolve through Sword, Sins, and Soul of the Nation (and beyond).

If you want to know more about this upcoming book series please check out Sword’s hub page. Please stay tuned for more previews and info as I chart and walk the path towards publishing this dream of mine.

Until the next one!

-Kal