Brett Patton

Author of Mecha Corps, A Novel of the Armor Wars

Rogue: the Forgotten Mecha

As academics, we’re told, “If one type of inquiry doesn’t yield the results you want, try another.” And it’s in that way I can finally shed some light on Dr. Roth and biomechanical Mecha in general. Where Dr. Roth’s own bio has been redacted, and his official interviews run to script, there are alternatives. Alternatives in the form of engineering documentation on the Rogue Mecha, Dr. Roth’s first deployed design.

Although many of the records have been lost, there is such a volume of them that they can’t all be destroyed (thank you, scientists and engineers, for this personality trait.) Because of this, it’s possible to put together a more complete picture of the man who created the Rogue—and the Rogue itself.

What emerges is a picture of a man obsessed with secrecy and control, and a machine as dangerous as it is powerful.

Dr. Roth’s electronic document trail is one of redirects and delays. He continually rejects UARL’s requests to benchmark the Rogue Mecha by testing it to destruction. Indeed, it’s possible that such a test was never actually performed. The document stubs become more redacted as time goes on, especially in reference to the pilots. As the volume of benchmarking requests drops, the number of requests for pilot interviews, medical histories, and detailed psychological examination rises. This seems to suggest that there are factors of Mecha use that affect the pilot. There was a documented phenomenon in mechanical Mecha, Giant’s Rage, in which the size, speed, power, and general invulnerability of the pilot was amplified by the humanoid nature of the Mecha, giving rise to destructive rages. However, the phenomenon seems to be more pronounced in biomechanical Mecha, since the battery of tests requested included markers for physical addiction.

The results of the pilot tests are equally unknown. The few tests are heavily redacted, and the pilots themselves are unavailable for interviews; it seems that most of the early biomechanical Mecha pilots never went on to additional duties. Perhaps they are too involved in the current Hellion Mecha to be easily accessible.

It is extremely improbable that the Rogues have an actual physical effect on the pilots. I can’t imagine what kind of system, biomechanical or not, that would cause physical damage other than gross trauma. Most likely the effects are entirely psychological. However, when combined with the short life of the Rogue and their disappearance from the public eye, this leads to the most phantasmagoric speculations. I’ll refrain from going further with this.

Dr. Roth, himself, furiously protects both his Rogue Mecha and his pilots, going so far as to petition the Union Prime herself for an intervention when Union Army troops occupied his labs on Earth. While the Prime has no record of responding, it is interesting that the Army quickly withdrew from its position. Perhaps the Mecha wins against the Corsairs with respect to the Independent Displacement Alliance had something to do with this. The Union always values results over all else.

Dr. Roth is also widely hated by both the Union Army, Union oversight, and his own staff. Day to day documentation show them tracking his movements so as to avoid his presence, and many tech reviews, between the redactions, contain many references to “Dr. Roth’s temper,” and “inaccurate instructions and a moving endpoint.” Dr. Roth is not a diplomat or a manager, which lends credence to the idea he created the biomechanical Mecha technology as a lone inventor. However, it still does not explain how he could have put together the resources to do so.

Categorized as Deployments, Science

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