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 chromatic protagonists of this tale: The Nightingale Series of Battle Suits that the main cast employs as they fight 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. This is still a learning experience for me, so please excuse the bumps and turbulence.

And now, on with the show.

From the moment he was recruited into Gestalt to serve as its Quartermaster, Edram Pertz was tasked with one crucial mission: To 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, but 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 on its repertoire—some of which are obscured with the upmost 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, it’s basements were equipped with a workshop that had everything the young engineer required to begin work on his dream.

The “Battle Suits” were the centerpiece of Edram’s proposal. General Exley provided Edram with an ostentatious (but not unlimited) budget, a time-frame of no more than a year, and a series of objectives to aim when designing and creating the suits. 

A prototype was the first order of business.

With his conceptual 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 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 which featured a full alloy frame, ‘bulky’ designs, and varied shapes and forms. Ultimately, he discarded them and began a new, much cleaner and reasonable project, with the following goals in mind:

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, but rather an underlying bodysuit with a series of segmented alloy plates on its chest, back, and limbs. 

The helmet would have to be visually stunning and strike fear at the hearts of those that would dare cross paths with the wearer, but never 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 features were merely simulated, Edram wanted to design it with as much leeway as possible when it came to scalability. The ability to upgrade the basic suit and equip it with specialized gadgets and equipment would make the nascent 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 that would eventually become Gestalt OS or gtOS. After another trimester of arduous labor, Edram had a finished prototype suit ready to present to Exley.

The underlying bodysuit was made of a sleek, resistant, and flexible material, “Layered mesh plating,” he said to the General when he presented it. It granted the wearer unrestricted movement and a high grade of protection against blunt impacts and most basic forms of firearms. 

A complex array of wires and sensors were woven into the bodysuit, which provided all sorts of biometric data to be processed by the suit’s systems, which were housed on its helmet.

The chest featured an array of armor plates, sharp and symmetrical. The unique alloy that the plates were made of was created via a meticulous and arduous process that the Nasivern used to employ—a process that Edram adapted and modified 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 provided protection to the back.

The suit’s limbs featured angular and sharp armor plating that was similar to the chest’s, while the two red shoulder plates sported a round design. The suit’s full closed helmet was mostly made of the same alloy used in the suit’s armor plates, and it depicted a sleek and sharp visage with a featureless mouthpiece; its menacing-looking eyes illuminated in a bright blue hue. A V-shaped crest was featured on its forehead, it wasn’t just an aesthetic choice—it concealed two high range antennas used for communication. 

The suit was also provided with a belt, the buckle had an angular pattern similar to the suit’s plating; additional systems were housed on it, as well as an auxiliary system that complimented the helmet’s hardware in case of a failure. The suit was powered by an ingenious array of flexible batteries distributed all across the chest, back, helmet, legs, and arms.

The arms and back contained a series of connectors that would eventually be used on Edram’s modular gadget and “add-ons” approach

Exley was more than pleased with the suit, from the design to the theoretical enhancements in performance that it would grant the wearer—his months of hard work had yielded results worthy of being proud, his unbound creativity and talents had bore 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 design a second suit more tailored to Erron’s measurements: the GT-BS101MA.

The idea of assigning each member a color came halfway through the 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 Nighigintale Series had to be scrapped, and thus is absent from the rest of the suits, nonetheless, vestiges can be found within the Suit and Operating System’s source code, and a more simplified implementation of the idea served as the basis for the SED Hawk Drone pack that’s featured in the prototype suit, which was modified and assigned to Cameron Bennett, the team’s tech specialist—who chose to bathe her suit in pink.

The suits not only communicate with one another in real time, they can share resources and processing power if needed, relaying signals from one suit to another whenever needed. 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.

And thus, the first generation of Gestalt Battle Suits came to be. The Nightingale Series consists of five suits, the Initial prototype suit—now in 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.

In order to make up for the removal of the modular upgrades, Edram began to experiment with a replacement feature, something he calls Overdrive Burst, a “hidden ace” according to him—still highly experimental and untested.

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 pieces of hardware. The warrior’s soul—that’s the missing component that his technology lacks, and 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.