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Shyger.jpg

“They’re not much to look at, and they look kludged-up as hell, but there’s a certain animal ferocity inside them, even the ones not Awakened, that comes through when they’re in combat. And the thruster shriek of a full wing of them pouncing on a target? That’s pure battle song, sung by simple hearts that appreciate combat.”

“I hate those damn things. Every one of them can whittle down my armor and my soldiers, while every shot I waste on them is a shot I’m NOT using to shoot down those accursed Hawkmoon harpies. And the Shemarrians know it, otherwise they wouldn’t be making so many of the damn things and throwing them at me. Damn cursed Shemarrians.”

Shemarrian ‘Shyger’ Aerial Raptor Drone[]

aka ‘Catbird’, ‘Shemarrian Giant Parrot’

The Hawkmoons are the professed ‘Sky Tribe’ of the Shemarrian Nation, and they employ the largest number of Avyet (Shemarrian cyber-hawks) of any of the Tribes. However, as enraptured as the Hawkmoons are of their ‘little friends’, even the most diehard ‘featherheads’ of the Tribe admit that the best of the Avyet ‘breeds’ just don’t have the same firepower of some of the companion-cyberanimals of the more ground-based tribes. Freeflying marauding flocks of Ayet just lack the raw destructive power of a Kantaran (Shemarrian Wolf) pack in full unleashed rampage mode. And simply adding wings or flight systems to their own Kantaran compaion-mechs just wasn’t an option for the Hawkmoons. Hawkmoon Tinkers have thus been fishing about for a more satisfactory solution. 

History[]

One of the more interesting experiments that has emerged from this quest is the ‘Shyger’, an obvious ‘frankensteed’ (robot pieced together from the bits and pieces of existing equipment) development made by Sister Emili Featherforger, a Tinker known to frequent the upstate New York regions of the Hawkmoon range. Since the Hawkmoons there frequently came into contact with forces beholding to the Free Quebec Coalition State, the Tribesmen were quite familiar with the equipment of Free Quebec and had scavenged a good bit. Thus the ‘Shyger’ is readily recognizable as being based on the QV-229 ‘Bobcat’ Hover Cycle, modified with various odds and ends.

Description[]

The ‘Shyger’ retains the bullet-shaped body of the ‘Bobcat’, but the cockpit windshield has been removed, the cockpit itself fared away, the tail fins replaced with more articulated (if still stubby) wings with forward sweep, and two powerful robotic legs, resembling those of a bird of prey (but also resembling those of the ‘Gekker’ robeast), mounted underneath. This allows the ‘bot to engage in close raking attacks with its new claws. Performance is roughly equal to that of the ‘Bobcat’, but the ‘Shyger’ is slightly more maneuverable and agile, especially when it comes to flight maneuvers that would cause a living pilot to black out. 

Armament also follows the original ‘Bobcat’ configuration, with the exception of an added nose turret and the leg-mounted vibroclaws. 

In place of a crewman, the hybrid hover cycle/robot has been modified with an installed robot intelligence. Multiple concealed sensors installed on the body frame keep the robot A.I. up to date about its surroundings, without giving opponents an obvious ‘head’ to snipe at (the blunt parrot-like fuselage ‘head’ holds some sensors and the small laser turrets, but not the AI housing). The A.I. is also occasionally ‘Awakened’ with an animal-intelligence Ecotroz Essence fragment, but roughly sixty percent of ‘Shygers’ are kept as robotic drones. 

Once regarded as an interesting experiment, the ‘Shyger’ has begun appearing in greater numbers with Hawkmoon forces as a force multiplier. ‘Shygers’ are used by the Hawkmoons as attack animals, rather than personal companions. They are often used to shadow Shemarrian forces, escort caravans and slower-moving aircraft, and to scout ahead and draw fire. ‘Shygers’ are also deployed in semi-autonomous packs or flocks, set loose to attack targets of opportunity. Besides the Hawkmoons, the Ghost Riders are the only other Tribe known to use Shygers. 

No ‘feral’ version of the ‘Shyger’ exists, as the cybernanimal is quite obviously a robot lash-up.

Abilities[]

Shyger
Type EShe-AA31
Class Robotic Animal, Attack
Crew Robotic Intelligence
Number of Riders 0
Original Tribe Hawkmoon
MDC By Location
Head Unknown
Main Body 180
Legs 90 (2)
Main Thruster 75 (2)
Main Wings 40 (2)
Nose Turrets (2) 35
Mini-Missile Launchers (2) 45
Railgun 50
Direction Jegs (10) 15
Tail Fins (2) 40
Physical Size
Height 4 ft
Length 13.3 ft
Width 4 ft
Main Wingspan 8 ft
Weight 1450 lbs
Physical Attributes
IQ 12
PS 25 Robotic
SPD 20 mph, awkward
Flying Speed Hover - 440 mph
Maximum Altitute 2700 ft
Power System Nuclear 20 year
Other Attributes
Sensors
Standard Sensors Standard
Special Systems
Cybernanite Repair 4d6 MD/hr 40 MDC
Weapon Systems
Primary Weapon Nose Turrets (2)
Secondary Weapon Rail Gun
Third Weapon Mini-Missile Launchers (2)
Fourth Weapon Optional Self-Destruct

Weapons Systems[]

Nose Turrets (2)[]

The ‘Catbird’ mounts TWO nose turrets to the ‘Bobcat’s’ one. The turrets are also modular, allowing for several different weapons types to be mounted

Double-Barreled Laser Cannon[]
Range 2000 ft
Damage 3d6 MD
Damage2 6d6 MD dual blast
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Unlimited

Standard armament found on many Shygers, especially during times of ammunition shortages.

Double-Barreled Ion Blaster[]
Range 2000 ft
Damage 2d6 MD
Damage2 4d6 MD dual blast
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Unlimited

Fairly standard dual barreled ion blaster.

Rail Gun (1)[]

Range 4000 ft
Damage 1d4 MD
Damage2 1d4x10 MD 40 rd burst
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload 4000 rd drum

This weapon, slung under the main body, is unchanged from the original. The standard fit-out is not terribly remarkable; the weapon is recognizable as the venerable C-40R SAMAS rail gun. Occasionally, though, the Shyger has been seen mounting the Shemarrian Assault Rifle with shorter range, but greater damage.

Shemarrian Assault Rifle[]
Range 3000 ft
Damage 1d6 MD
Damage2 1d4x10 MD 12 rd burst
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload 4000 rd drum

A common replacement to the rail gun, especially on those found not on Rifts Earth, making use of readily available Shemarrian ammunition.

Missile Launcher[]

Occasionally the gun is done away with entirely and replaced with either two rails for short range missiles (2 SRMs) or a mini-missile launcher (volleys of 1-5, 10 total).

EW Pod 

Rather than mount a direct fire weapon, the Ghost Riders sometimes dispense with the under-fuselage gun and mount an EW jamming pod, either an electronic targeting jammer, or a communications jammer. 

  • ECM Module---electronic jamming system that gives radar-guided weaponry a -4 to strike the drone. Or it can be used offensively, to foil ALL radar-guided weaponry in a 15 mile radius (-2 to strike)
  • Jammer---A mini-radio jammer, that can pump out enough multi-wavelength white noise to jam civilian band communications with 90% effectiveness, and military comms with 70% effectiveness, over a 20 mile radius.

Mini-Missile Launchers (2)[]

Range Varies by missile
Damage Varries by missile
Rate of Fire Volly 1-5
Payload 10 / launcher

Unchanged from the original; these launchers slide out of the sides of the cyberanimal

Optional Self-Destruct

Fully robotic A.I. Shyger-drones are sometimes fitted with powerful self-destruct packages, especially if they are being sent on one-way suicide missions.

  • 250-lb Bomb----2d4x10 MD to 50 ft blast radius

Programming[]

The Ecotroz have installed robotic AIs, then infected (some of) the matrix with a low-level Ecotroz sentience. The robot has an effective I.Q. of 12, and exhibits a personality similar to that of a well-trained bird of prey. The ‘bot can patiently wait to be unleashed on a target, but tends to fidget and flex for flight/combat, and in combat is wholly dedicated to hitting the target/destroying the enemy. 

Typically has the following: 

Skill % Awakened Bonus %
Radio: Basic 96
Radio: Scrambler 96
Navigation: Air 90 +5/level
Read Sensory Instruments 75 +5/level
Math: Basic 96
Track 70 +5/level
PIlot: Fighter (maneuvering purposes) 96

If Awakened, the Ecotroz entity can also pick up one Secondary skill at levels 2, 6, and 12 of experience, though the nature of the Shyger intelligence and design is such that it is limited to skill selections from Technical: Language (understanding) and Lore, Espionage (Detect Ambush, Detect Concealment), Wilderness (Track Humanoids, Track Animals, Hunting, Identify Plants and Fruits)

Combat[]

Attacks Per Melee 5
Bonuses
Initiative +2, +3 if awakened
Dodge +5 (automatic in flight
Parry +5
Auto Dodge Unknown
Strike +5, +2 w/ranged
Roll +2
Pull Punch Unknown
Disarm Unknown
Entangle Unknown
Knockout/Stun Unknown
Critical Strike Unknown
Attacks
Claw Kick 1d4 MD
Flying Claw Rake 4d6 MD
Wing Sideswipe 1d6 MD

Shyger are usually deployed in small to large groups, or flocks, used as force multipliers for the Hawkmoon forces, launched to soften or harass enemies before heavier Shemarrian forces arrive.

Ecotroz Fragment[]

Only approximately 40% of Hawkmoon Shygers are Awakened, while the Ghost Riders never (and can't) awaken theirs, making them completely robotic drones. 

The Ecotroz intelligence fragment inhabiting the ‘bot gives the Shyger an aura and behavior more befitting a sentient being than a robot. 

The Ecotroz fragment does occasionally need sleep/rest...though they only need 2 hours of rest/meditation per 24 hours...they can push this, going without for as many days as they have I.Q. points, but will have to go dormant for 4d6 hours after such exertion.

Susceptible to Exorcism and Banish spells, but are +6 to save against such spells, +1 at levels 4, 8, and 12 of experience, and becoming IMMUNE at level 14 and up. Such Banishment causes the ‘bot to revert to its default robot programming. (OPTION: Ecotroz may become IMMUNE to Exorcism and Banishment with experience, and NEW BUILT EShemar constructs are immune to this)

Note also that the Ecotroz-possessed ‘bot can infect other bots with the Ecotroz viral-entity, by bite or sustained touch (takes 3 attacks).

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