The Raiders are a team group of cybernetic/augmented human mercenaries under the control of Janice Langham aka Lozen. They represent one of the largest threats to CLEA, at one time directly and now indirectly by working for the enemies of CLEA.
CLEA DATA FILE
- Janice Langham – Lozen – (Leader of the group)
- (male – name unknown) – Berserker
- (female – name unknown) – Frenzy
- (male – name unknown) – Tank
- (female – name unknown) -Skyspy
- (male – name unknown) Bullet
- (female – name unknown) – Reaper – Female Infiltrator specialist,
- (male – name unknown) – Strongarm
- Sledge Hammer (Robot)
- Smasher (Robot)
- Ram (Robot)
- Cyborg (all except Sledge Hammer, Smasher and Ram)
- Robot (Sledge Hammer, Smasher and Ram)
Special Skills and/or Abilities:
- Langham has injected the cyborg members of her team with an unknown bioagent. The effects of this enable their organic components to heal at an accelerated rate.
- Most of the Raiders, being cyborgs can withstand a lot of damage from conventional weapons.
- Lozen has replaced over 75% of her body with artificial components. She controls the entire team from behind the battlefield although if challenged directly she will engage and not many can survive her power.
- Berserker and Frenzy are infiltration specialists, the only artificial external alterations being the replacement of an eye so they can “see” Heat, IR and UV.
- Tank features both arms and legs replaced with artificial ones. He is the teams assault specialist and uses his arms as weapons to clear away enemy troops and vehicles in his path.
- Skyspy is equipped with wings and is the team’s aerial recon specialist. From her flying vantage point she can observe and update the other Raiders on enemy movements. She is also known to engage aerial targets.
- Bullet has both lower legs replaced. He is capable of incredible ground speed. His job is often to scout ahead and using his speed soften the enemy before they known what has hit them and then once that has done the others will attack.
- Reaper, like tank has all of her major limbs replaced. She has lower strength to her partner Tank but has increased speed.
- Strongarm has his lower arms replaced. He has lower strength and power than Tank or Cutter but being mainly human gives him and more agile body. He is a hand to hand attack specialist
- Sledge Hammer, Smasher and Drone are three experimental biped robot combatants that Lozen stole to replace “lost” members of her team.
- All the cyborgs have to maintain their organic components to function. Aiming for exposed flesh can cause them to act defensively and shield exposed areas of their bodies with armoured parts. However since they do not “feel” pain in the true sense and can heal faster this tactic has to be used with caution especially as the nanobots allow the more “human” raiders to move quicker.
- Langham is the key to Raider attacks. Disabling her prevents the others functioning correctly.
- All members of the team (cyborgs and robots) are vulnerable to EM weapons.
Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:
- Homicide/Attempted homicide
- Destruction of property
- Aggravated assault
- Muscle for Hire
All too aware that running a country as a dictator would gain him many enemies, Azem Dushku had to maintain a strong military presence to keep control and guard against threats posed by insiders as well as outsiders. Though his senior military leaders seemed to support him Azem was paranoid that their loyalties might change at any given time especially since his ten years in control had seen a growing underground resistance move opposing his leadership.
As his paranoia grew he became convinced that what he needed was a weapon to strike fear into his enemies and ensure his own troops would not step out of line. In his mind the perfect weapon was the perfect soldier and he became particularly interested in the work of Dr Pierre Mercier a cybernetics specialist.
Mercier had worked with people who had lost limbs and proposed the idea that permanently grafting replacements was the way forwards. Connecting electronics to the human nervous system though was “problematic”. The two problems he faced was a lack of volunteers to take part in his procedures and a lack of money. He had tried to get grants from official sources but without success.
Azem soon learned of Mercier’s proposed ideas and liked the idea of human augmentation. A person with the strength and power of a machine and the speed and decision making capability of a human fitted in with his goal of creating a “super soldier”. Mercier though turned him down. Not only could he not stomach the idea of working for a dictator he did not like the idea that Azem was considering deliberately amputating limbs to “create” test subjects.
Azem though would not take no for an answer so arranged for Mercier to be kidnapped. Smuggled across the borders and into Polvania, Mercier was thrown in prison until “he came to his senses”. Mercier though was not so easily swayed so Azem spent months torturing the reluctant doctor and with the careful addition of powerful drugs, eventually Mercier broke and once that happened it was easy to condition him to the point he would do anything for his “master”.
With Azem’s resources at his disposal Mercier set to work building the first cyborg soldier for the dictator. A mercenary prisoner who had been captured working for the resistance was used as the unwilling test subject. Working around the clock Mercier was able to complete his cyborg creation in record time and chose the somewhat obvious name of “First”. The biggest hurdle he had to jump over was suppressing the human immune system which kept trying to reject the alien limbs. Unlike injured people where artificial limbs are removable, a cyborg has mechanical components permanently grafted in place and attached to the human nervous system. Since Azem had lots of money and resources at his disposal, Mercier eventually discovered science had the answer with a chemical compound which he named “Cybrosia” taken from the words “Cyber” and “Ambrosia” since he figured he was a mechanical “god” and this was the “food” to be used by his creations.
As well as allowing permanent grafting of mechanical parts, Cybrosia had the added bonus of rapid healing. However once injected into a host body it needed to be controlled by a strong power source. This was not a problem with a cyborg which had limbs powered by electricity but if injected into a “normal” human Cybrosia would overload the nervous system very quickly and kill within days.
Compared to later “models” First was crude and unrefined, a case of functionality over aesthetics. However the biggest issue was that the cyborg retained all the memories of the original human host. Far from wanting to serve as a soldier for Azem, First wanted to kill him. If Mercier had not put safeguards in place then there was every likelihood First would have attacked him and anyone else involved in his conversion. When Azem heard of First’s resistance he thought the solution would be as simple as it had been with his creators so he had his “doctors” subject the cyborg to the same mind bending drugs that had been so effective on Mercier. Being a hybrid human/machine, First was highly resistant to the process. Progress was slow but eventually the host’s core memories were “deleted.” However despite the doctors best effort the personality and morale drives remained intact. Whatever reason the mercenary had decided to fight for the rebels in the first place, still remained deep down in the subconscious mind. Though he no longer knew who he was, First retained a dislike for Azem and his regime. This left the doctors with the unenviable task of informing Azem that they might never be able to totally brainwash the cyborg and get him to fight for the dictator. The idea that his cyborg army might never come to fruition was not good news and either out of desperation or simply impatience Azem decided to use outside help. By chance he learned from his lover that a scientist called Janice Langham might have the solution.
Janice Langham was a pioneer in psychology and a leader in her field. At around the time Azem took an interest in her she had come up with a radical idea that she was on the verge of creating a means to alter a persons brain patterns and memories. Her goal was the creation of a device that could be used to rehabilitate dangerous individuals without drugs by removing violent tendencies or alternately be used to solve different types of mental illness. Such a device Azem reasoned might be able to “program” loyalty into the soldiers Mercier was going to create.
Like Mercier, Azem presumed Langham would not help him willingly so he had his people make contact with Janice and inform her he was holding her daughter, Grace, captive. In reality though Grace was in fact his lover. Desperate for help, Langham contacted CLEA. Though CLEA did not have an agreement with Polvania they did send agents in undercover and when they found no proof to back up the claims of kidnapping they refused to get involved and reported back stating that Grace seemed to be a willing guest of Mr Dusku and therefore they would not risk a diplomatic incident causing instability in the area when it was obviously a family matter.
Langham could not accept what she was told and went to Polvania where Azem showed her proof that he was indeed keeping her estranged daughter prisoner. Realising CLEA were going to do nothing and acting out fear of losing Grace she agreed to work for Azem. Mercier figured the logical choice for the beginning of her work was to “fix” First and in preparation for her arrival the prototype was shut down and placed in suspended animation.
Before Langham arrived at the facility though, the rebels learned that Azem was building a weapon to use against them and broke into the building. They stole First’s pod but without Mercier’s control codes they could not revive the cyborg meaning that all they could do was secure their prize and keep it alive until they broke the encryption. (Ironically The Knights Forge would later “steal” First from the rebels at a later date.)
The loss of First was a major setback for Azem but since Mercier still retained the data used to create First it did not mean starting from scratch. Rather than recreating First, Mercier had some new and improved ideas. Several years and many failed experiments later Mercier had perfected his means to build cyborgs. Whilst he was busy doing this Langham and Azem’s scientists were equally busy building her “mind altering machine”.
When complete the device had one slight drawback and that was though it had the means to wipe out selected memories and introduce new ones, since the human body healed itself whatever changes were made artificially she knew they would remain permanent. Azem found this unacceptable until Mercier, after seeing Langham’s work, suggested the use of brain implants which would ensure the “programming” would remain permanent by constantly counteracting the bodies attempt to restore the original memories. More experiments and dead victims followed until he arrived a workable solution.
Azem was now ready to build his army. Since only parts of the brain were altered existing skills could still be retained which Azem saw as an advantage as he would not need to train anyone. Therefore he had his people scour the globe looking for the best of the best that could serve in his new army and that included taking some CLEA specialists.
Another five years past and the work was done. After this time Langham insisted she be reunited with her daughter but this was only permitted after she had showed Azem how her machine worked. She agreed, after which point Azem took Janice to see her daughter and revealed for the first time that Grace had been his lover for the past eight years. The supposed kidnapping of Grace exposed as nothing more than a ruse to ensure her mother’s cooperation shocked Janice to the core. Worse was to follow for Grace explained how she hated her mother and had enjoyed seeing her life’s work being corrupted. Despite the words coming out of Grace’s mouth Janice though did not believe it was her own daughter’s idea and convinced herself that Azem was behind it all. Either way she did not have much chance to think rationally for Azem had his guards take her to the labs where the machine was used on her and Mercier “converted” her to become another soldier.
This was his mistake for Langham had always feared that Azem might use her own machine against her and so had hidden safeguards in the operating software which ensured her mind remained as it was. Faking the fact that she had been programmed she bided her time and as the cyber soldiers began their work in dealing with Azem’s enemies she began plotting her revenge.
Spurred by the success of his “cyber soldiers” after Azem had dealt with his enemies in his own country, his greed for more power led him to make plans to invade neighbouring territories. Unable to allow this to happen Langham put her plan into action despite fearing the time was not quite right. The first stage of the plan involved attacking Mercier after which she wiped his mind altogether ensuring if the plan failed Azem’s conquest would be set back years. As a bargaining chip she made sure she had the formula to manufacture Cybrosia before doing this, and then destroyed all records relating to it.
Then accessing the brain implants in the soldiers directly she gave them new orders. Azem’s guards only realised what was happening when it was too late. The cyber soldiers which she called them attacked the Royal Palace and decimated anything and everything in sight. Letting her anger flow out Langham led the assault. She was like a queen bee and they were her drones and they would do anything for her. They knew not how to resist her control. By now her own body had been heavily augmented and that made her practically unstoppable as well. When she found Azem she decapitated him on sight using her mechanical arms to remove his head clean from his body. By this time she was in such a rage that when Grace tried to save him Janice killed her on the spot, batting her daughter away and smashing her into a wall.
The battle over, Janice was inconsolable and she lost her sanity. Filled with hate and blaming her loss on CLEA for never intervening when she first approached them she waged war on the organisation. Whenever the opportunity presented itself she would steal tech to improve her soldiers which is how CLEA came to give the group of mercenaries the name “Raiders”.
For two years the Raiders performed numerous terrorist attacks on CLEA with total success. However though she was intelligent Langham was not the most tactical thinker and CLEA top brass, tired of waiting for the next attack, decided to set up a trap for Langham and her crew. Dropping information in the right channels Langham learned of a new CLEA weapons research lab being set up in China. The base was supposed to house the latest tech so it seemed an irresistible target for not only could she deliver a serious blow to CLEA she would be able to upgrade her soldiers with stolen tech.
The base seemed strangely deserted and once the guards had been dealt with the team made its way inside to discover the facility was a trap. In the exchange of fire that followed three of her male combatants Grunt, Bull and Skirmish were killed by an experimental EM weapons. The same weapon disabled Fixer (later became known as Wildcat) and damaged Jammer, Hailstorm and Sniper
Langham had no option but to retreat and over the coming months the latter three managed to break from her control due to the damaged implants. Having been dealt a serious blow and unable to create any more cyborgs, she never attacked a CLEA facility again. Instead she switched tactics and hired her team out to CLEA’s enemies. She also managed to “replace” some of the missing members of her team after stealing three experimental combat drones.
The Raiders Team
The Raiders known today are very different than Mercier’s original designs. Time and learning has allowed Langham to make many improvements. Now calling herself Lozen, her group hierarchy still shares a similarity to organised insects whereby she is the queen and each member of the group has a definitive purpose. Though in the past soldiers with all artificial limbs were powerful weapons she soon learned they could be cumbersome and picked off with heavy weaponry whereas conversely those with only a few organic components replace could be nimble and fast. Ironically she has not applied that same rule to herself for she has now replaced over 75% of her original body.
Over the years she created a mixture of near human and total cyborg creations allowing her Raiders to become a formidable balanced unit. By stealing tech, she continually improves on her “children”, so whilst in the beginning her group resembled something akin to construction vehicles of different designs and forms, they now look like the very soldiers that Mercier had once dreamed of creating.
Her one problem over the years has been the manufacture of Cybrosia. Despite having the formula the chemical composition is beyond her ability to create it by any means andat one time this was a major concern and would bring the Raiders close to being stopped altogether.
Cybrosia has to be kept at certain levels in each Raider to ensure that the mechanical systems are not rejected and under ordinary circumstances does not need topping up but if the hosts body is damaged, Cybrosia levels drop as the damage is repaired. After a series of failed missions her team was barely functional due to her lack of making replacement Cybrosia. That was until Lozen was able to makie a deal with Enigma solutions. In return for obtaining certain materials, the criminal group would supply her with all the Cybrosia she needed.
Due to the fact all the Raiders have had their brains tampered with most are only known by code names. CLEA files have some suggestions to the identities of Raiders but the physical alterations prevent them from knowing for certain who each Raider really is apart from Janice Langham. The only Raiders not under her control are often those whose brain implant has been damaged and the host personality (but not usually memories) have returned. Having been artificially modified in some way means those victims can never be returned to being ordinary humans which is why they often chose to oppose her.
The one exception to this is Raiders that have slipped onto our world from parallel universes. As well as looking radically different and having artificial limbs that are even more human like they do not appear to require Cybrosia.
Former Team Members
- Grunt – Male, demolition expert KIA during attack on CLEA Chinese base.
- Bull – Male heavy assault specialst KIA during attack on CLEA Chinese base.
- Skirmish – Male ranged weapons expert KIA during attack on CLEA Chinese base.
- Fixer – Female combat engineer, disabled during the attack on the CLEA base and taken captive. No longer under Lozen’s control and with some of her original personality returning she was freed from CLEA incarceration due to the intervention Commander Alex Powell and now serves on his task force as “Wildcat” who has trained her in combat skills.
- Hailstorm – Male airborne interceptor and ground attack. Now uses “Hawk” pseudonym after escaping Lozen’s control and formed a small group with Sniper and Jammer. At one time regarded as a criminal he seems to have tried his best to reform and make amends which is probably why Agent Alpha chose to recruit him to the Armour Corps.
- Sniper – Female, sniper/precision attack specialist. Now uses the “Sureshot” pseudonym after escaping Lozen’s control. Like Hailstorm she appears to have been reformed and so was invited by Agent Alpha to join his “team”
- Jammer – Female electronic war specialist. The most advanced Raider prior to Langham’s conversion and later modified to become the ultimate electronic weapon. Can jam/hack electronics and communication systems and eject intense bursts of electricity. Joined Hailstorm and Sniper after escaping Lozen and later followed them to Agent Alpha. Now known as “Lightning.”