HRUNTING Mark III Cyclops
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The HRUNTING Mark III Exoskeleton, also known as the Cyclops, is a bipedal powered exoskeleton used by the United Nations Space Command. It is a redesigned version of the Mark III exoskeleton, a predecessor to the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor.
Unlike the form-fitting armored suits that began with the retroactively named Mark IV, the predecessors of MJOLNIR were bulky powered exoskeletons. In 2511, Dr. Catherine Halsey decided to scrap the earlier iterations due to their size, lack of maneuverability, and power inefficiency. She and the Office of Naval Intelligence's Materials Group abandoned the exoskeletons for Project: MJOLNIR, leaving most of the exoskeletons (even the comparatively successful Mark IIIs, which had been introduced only a year earlier) in Reach's titanium mines.
In 2513, the Materials Group's research team on Algolis, who were working on a separate project known as "HRUNTING", began to refine the Mark III. Working at Weapons Research Facility T12A, the HRUNTING team made their own development breakthroughs until they created a revised "[B]" variant of the Mark III, which they called the Cyclops. Unlike the original Mark I, II, and III exoskeletons, the Mark III [B] was intended to perform non-combat military roles such as construction, matériel transportation, terraforming, and dock work. The Cyclops eventually saw limited deployment as a logistical support unit with the Marine Corps. Operators were forced into combat on rare occasions, during which the Cyclops proved very effective as an ad hoc anti-matériel and anti-fortification platform.
Numerous variants of the Cyclops have been designed since the introduction of the Mark III [B], including some versions that are armed and up-armored; others are marketed toward civilian agencies. Following the development of the Cyclops the HRUNTING project was merged with the similarly oriented YGGDRASIL project, resulting in the creation of several exoskeletons and armor defense systems beginning with the Mark I Armor Defense System.
Cyclops aboard the UNSC Spirit of Fire were radically redesigned by the Smart AI Serina using design files from Lethbridge Industrial that she came across during the Battle for Arcadia. The Cyclops produced aboard the Spirit of Fire after 2531 used a refactored exoskeleton and completely original control software. Though the anti-tank Cyclops did not have the raw strength of the original engineering vehicle, it was faster and far easier to operate even with its new weaponry and armor. Isabel continues to improve on the design with modern UNSC cyberlink protocols and module concepts.
The Cyclops is a very large platform, standing 4.3 meters (14.1 feet) tall and 3.7 meters (12.1 feet) wide. The operator is harnessed within a sealed cockpit that features a transparent canopy and a roll cage. In order to make controlling the Cyclops feel more natural the operator is encased in an internal active-impedance haptic interface exoskeleton that controls the movement of the vehicle itself and provides force feedback. As a result the Cyclops feels like an extension of the operator's body despite not being "worn" in the same sense as smaller powered exoskeletons such as MJOLNIR.
The Cyclops' most prominent feature is its two large arms, which feature powerful hand-like torque-amplification gauntlets. These manipulators can effortlessly crush a Sangheili's body and, with the assistance of a wrist-mounted pile driver, can shear large pieces from Wraith tanks and even citadels, the latter of which possess starship-grade armor plating. In keeping with its intended role as a support unit the Cyclops can use its manipulators and various arm-mounted tools to repair vehicles and structures. Due to the Cyclops' nimble design these repairs can be completed very quickly, even in the field.
The Cyclops is surprisingly lightweight for its size thanks to the advanced materials created by the engineers and scientists on Algolis. It is also quite agile, capable of outpacing even SPARTAN-IIs at a speed of just over 48 kilometers per hour (30 mph). Hydraulic-buffered shocks in the exoskeleton's feet ensure that rough terrain does not hinder the mobility of the Cyclops and allow it to jump short distances. Like the original Mark III exoskeleton the Cyclops features an externally mounted fusion reactor as its power supply, though the unofficial Mark III [B-II] variant often replaces the standard reactor with an alternate power source.
The Cyclops' ease of use and load carrying capacity have led to the creation of numerous iterations of it as of 2558:
There are several minor Cyclops variants with no official categorizations. Most of these variants follow common themes in terms of their loadout and the scope of their modification. Some alterations are made to enhance their suitability in specific climates. The following are variants in service as of 2559:
Cyclopes were used during the Battle of the Etran Harborage to repair the UNSC Spirit of Fire's power core after it was damaged during a collision with the Covenant CPV-class heavy destroyer Proclamation's Tithe. The UNSC Pillar of Autumn also had its own complement, which were used on Installation 04 after it landed on the ring in 2552.
The Mark III [B] Cyclops is a playable unit in Halo Wars. In the campaign, the Cyclops appears only in the level Repairs, but can be built by a second player in some missions in Co-op. In skirmish and multiplayer, the Cyclops is available only if Sergeant Forge is the player's selected hero unit. The Cyclops is designed to be an anti-structure unit with only melee attacks, and cannot attack aircraft.
The Cyclops requires 125 resource units, a tech level of one, one population slot, and can be built at the Firebase. It has the following upgrades:
Halo Wars 2
Cyclops upgrade: Shock rounds
Unlike its Halo Wars counterpart, the Cyclops in Halo Wars 2 is an anti-vehicle unit armed with a gun, though it still cannot attack aircraft, and only does okay against structures and poorly against infantry. In addition, the Cyclops is no longer able to repair ground vehicles and structures; this role is instead filled by the Nightingale. The Cyclops can be built at the Barracks by all UNSC leaders. In Blitz, Cyclops cost 30 energy, Reactive Cyclops cost 50 energy, and a Veteran Cyclops cost 70 energy. Morgan Kinsano has her own personal Cyclops equipped with dual M7057 Flamethrowers.
Graeme Devine, the lead writer of Halo Wars, created a backstory for the Cyclops that is rife with continuity errors. This was made to provide narrative context for the game development team. However, Devine states on his blog that the background stories he created are "essentially fan fiction" and should not be regarded as canon.
The essay states that the Marine Corps designed the Cyclops as a shock infantry platform to combat the Insurrectionists, and that the program competed with the "fledgling" Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. The Cyclops is said to have been removed from service after the initiation of the SPARTAN-III program. Canonically the Cyclops was originally produced as a support platform and the ODST had been in service for centuries. The SPARTAN-III program was top-secret, activated decades after the Cyclops first saw service, and served an entirely different role from that of the Cyclops, so the activation of the Spartans would have no bearing on the platform's deployment.
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