* Note: Air-Vipers come in many flavors of skill, despite possessing the same rank - and receiving the same pay. For instance, those with the Boxing skill may increase their Strength ability code to d, and those with the Military skill may do the same with their Willpower.
Already possessing an ability code of c in their Agility, Air-Vipers may increase this to b if they have learned either Aerial Combat or Martial Arts, and those rare few that have mastered both arenas of combat may improve their Agility's ability code to a!
Air-Vipers are pilots in the employ of Cobra. Possessed of varying levels of aeronautic skill, Air-Vipers might seem minimally competent at their job or preternaturally effective in the skies. However, at this stage in their careers with Cobra, they have no powers to speak of.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Aircraft (i): their whole purpose being to fly Cobra aircraft, an Air-Viper is most often encountered operating one in some capacity. They haven't earned a set vehicle, however, so they often serve to assist other, more skilled pilots in the execution of their duties.
Helmet (s): Air-Vipers are distinguished from regular Cobras by their crimson helmets, which are often coupled with black flight masks. This black and crimson headgear provides them intensity 4, or +1, protection against physical attacks striking them anywhere in the head.
Knife (s): serving mostly as a tool to cut parachute lines, Air-Vipers always carry a blade with them. They can use these implements, made from m.s. 13 materials, to cut through items of up to like m.s., or to inflict their Strength +2 in slashing damage in a pinch.
Sidearm (a): most Cobras carry at least one backup piece, and Air-Vipers are no exception to this rule. They can discharge a single round from these weapons to inflict their Agility +4 in damage, or a semi-automatic burst of such to inflict their Agility +5 in damage.
Aerial Combat (a): not all Air-Vipers were fighter pilots before joining Cobra. Those that were, however, generally earn a promotion to a higher grade of operative rather quickly. Air-Vipers who have mastered this skill may attempt aerial combat actions at a reduced difficulty.
Boxing (s): Air-Vipers can defend themselves to an extent. For some, this takes the form of the boxing skill, which lets them divide their pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee assaults, the second of which will occur as a contingent action.
Guns (a): all Cobra operatives have the ability to wield firearms in combat, and Air-Vipers are no exception to this rule. They may discharge any standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol at one difficulty level lower than is normally necessary.
Martial Arts (a): Air-Vipers can defend themselves to an extent. For some, this takes the form of the martial arts skill, granting them a reduction in the difficulty of actions intended to dodge attacks, catch thrown weaponry, or to strike in unarmed melee.
Military (w): those Air-Vipers who didn't master this skill before joining Cobra are quickly drilled, mercilessly, until they get it down. It allows them to function effectively within a combat unit, and gives them insight into Cobra's byzantine organizational structure.
Piloting (a): the skill which Cobra recruited them for, Air-Vipers are all competent pilots to some extent. Some have more experience than others, of course, but all of them may attempt actions to control aircraft while in the air at a reduced difficulty.
Most pilots who become Air-Vipers are actively recruited by Cobra, who is happy to get pilots it need not train from scratch on the payroll. As such, they can generally count on the organization for assistance should they need it, assuming they haven't made too many enemies within it.
Various Callings: the vast majority of Air-Vipers joined Cobra due to their insatiable Greed for material possessions. Others, however, reflect the nature of Soldiers attempting to prove themselves, or even have diabolical aspirations of World Domination!
The Air-Viper uniform is similar to that of a standard Cobra. It includes a long-sleeved blue shirt with a winged red Cobra logo on the chest, blue trousers, and black leather boots, gloves, web gear, and belts. The difference is in their crimson helmet with a black flight mask.
Though low-ranking in the overall Cobra hierarchy, Air-Vipers serve a vital role. A step up from other operatives who are often given the operations manual to an expensive air vehicle and a fifteen minute primer before putting it to use, Air-Vipers are all competent pilots.
They are the operatives who move Cobra gear and personnel around the world without notice, in seemingly conventional aircraft. They are the next generation of fighter pilots the organization is grooming. And they are all actively recruited by Cobra in the first place.
While they ultimately have to earn their pay, not to mention promotion into higher ranks, by proving themselves both in and out of battle when flying Cobra's aircraft, Air-Vipers generally have it easy in comparison to other Cobras equally low on the totem pole.
Flight Helmet (i): the second Air-Viper uniform comes with a much more advanced helmet. It includes a built in oxygen regulator, helpful when flying at ludicrous altitudes, as well as a head-up display that can patch into their aircraft, and an altimeter.
The second Air-Viper uniform primarily consists of a glossy black flight suit. This main component is complemented with black boots, blue shin guards, blue leather gloves, blue web gear with a pronounced Cobra medallion in the center, and their sensor-laden black helmets.
The third Air-Viper uniform is identical to the original. It includes a long-sleeved blue shirt with a winged red Cobra logo on the chest, blue trousers, and black leather boots, gloves, web gear, and belts. They even reverted to their crimson helmets with black flight masks.
Cobra directories featuring a version of Air-Vipers:
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