“WAR, n. A by-product of the arts of peace.” —Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
I ran across Ted’s story and characters here recently, attempting to find the original artist for an uncredited concept sketch someone posted on Tumblr. As a writer, an avid researcher, a former Master’s student, and an English professor, little vexes me more than the failure to credit sources. As I wanted to share the image as well, I ran a quick reverse-image search and (after two pages of Pinterest links) came across Ted’s DeviantArt featuring excellent character concepts from his e-novel series, Renegades of Destiny. As I, sadly, don’t own a Nook or iBook, I’ve been unable to read the Book-0, but what I’ve learned about the story feels well thought out and epic in scale.
Though the story has a fairly large cast of characters, one who seems to be at the forefront throughout the art is the blue-haired Sophie McGillicuddy. Sophie is the adopted daughter of William Noventa and Norah Epstein, leaders of an elite covert-ops unit known as the Raptors. As part of the Office of Special Intelligence, their agenda seems to be of the enforcement variety, using brute force and data manipulation to bring down their Emperor’s enemies.
Sophie appears to have a large armor selection throughout the Renegades timeline. I’d initially assumed the difference had to do with mission profile, but further research indicates that each is a different series number, upgraded with newer versions as the timeline progresses. The version featured above is R1-X.0, while the one to the left is the XSP.01 Lite Personal Shell Armor.
While I’m sure changes can be made to the armor based on mission profile, Soph’s kit comes across as a pretty straightforward set of light infiltrator armor. (Presumably this means that there are heavy and medium armors as well for frontline infantry and support soldiers.) As the Raptors’ method of operation seems to be more… surgical than the regular military’s, it makes sense that they’ll need a light, flexible armor offering a variety of intrusion options.
The XSP.o1 is fitted over a durable but flexible, head-to-toe bodysuit offering unhindered movement during infiltration and combat. Soph’s cuirass is made up of armored plates, for protection in melee and possibly even small-arms fire. Segmented and layered, they should keep our heroine safe from collarbone to crotch while offering a reasonable degree of torso mobility. Her spaulders seem to ride unusually low on her shoulders, but I suspect this is to allow Soph full rotation in her upper arms.
Our charming commando’s arms are covered by a studded, blue-camo sleeve made up of a blade-proof mesh for melee combat. The same mesh covers Soph’s legs, with knee pads to protect from disabling blows to her legs. Interestingly, her footwear consists of a pair of mesh gaiters over tabi boots, rather than some kind of combat boot.
As seen above, Sophie’s helmet is retractable into a small backpack. As well as protecting her pretty noggin, the helm features a 360 degree HUD and likely other vision- and performance-enhancing amenities. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t also offer respiratory equipment and communications gear.
As an elite commando, Sophie is well trained in the use of a wide variety of weaponry, largely melee and small arms for close combat. Picture here, she carries a hyper-advanced pistol and what might be a grenade or other antipersonnel explosive. Her left bracer contains a retractable bayonet that extends to a full-length sword. And strapped to her left leg she has a military-purpose knife, likely some future equivalent of a K-Bar. The pouches strapped to her legs likely contain additional weapons, as well as various intrusion and data-hacking devices.
Huge thanks to Ted for letting me borrow Sophie for the blog. Renegades of Destiny is available on Nook or iBooks. Feel free to check out Ted’s Tumblr for additional art and updates. As always, thanks for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!