AVACs (Air-Viper, Advanced Class)
* Note: AVACs may generally choose between Boxing and Martial Arts as a personal defense skill, the former raising their Strength's ability code to d, and the latter raising their Agility's ability code to a. A rare few will have trained hard to master both self-defense skills.
The Air-Viper, Advanced Class, or AVAC, has no special powers to speak of, whether derived from freakish accidents of science, horrendous genetic mutations, or even diabolical occult studies. Of course, when seeing them in action, it may be difficult to remember that.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Body Armor (s): supplementing their helmets, AVACs have armor plating on the front of their legs, their upper arms, and over their chest. This translates, in aggregate, to intensity 4 (or +1) body armor against physical assaults that don't strike them in the head.
the Firebat (i): those Air-Vipers who earn the ability to call themselves AVACs are granted the privilege of flying Cobra's Firebats. These so-called 'Pocket Rockets' are incredibly challenging aircraft to fly, and are described in their own vehicular entry.
Helmet (s): in addition to distinguishing AVACs from other pilots working for Cobra, these chrome, bullet-shaped helmets provide them some protection from injury. While wearing their helmets, AVACs benefit from intensity 8 (or +2) protection against physical attacks to the head.
Knife (s): serving mostly as a tool to cut parachute lines, AVACs always carry a blade with them. They can use these implements, of m.s. 13, to cut through items of up to like m.s., or to inflict their Strength +2 in slashing damage should they otherwise find themselves disarmed.
Sidearm (a): most Cobras carry at least one backup piece, and AVACs 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): one does not become an AVAC without being an effective fighter pilot, whether they brought that skill with them to Cobra or picked it up on the job. As such, they may attempt combat actions while flying aircraft at a reduced difficulty level.
Boxing (s): AVACs 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: all Cobra operatives have the ability to wield firearms in combat, and AVCs 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): AVACs 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.
Mathematics (i): in order to operate a Firebat, a pilot must be capable of performing advanced equations in their head, for the vehicle has no onboard computers or fancy readouts. AVACs have this skill, which allows them a reduced difficulty on math-related card play.
Military (w): Cobra pilots cannot earn the rank of AVAC without mastering this skill, even if they got their start as civilian pilots. It allows them to function effectively within a combat unit, and gives them insight into Cobra's byzantine organizational structure.
Piloting: the skill which Cobra recruited them for, AVACs are all highly competent pilots, and more than a few of them are thrill-seekers bordering on the unhinged. They may attempt actions to Control aircraft while in the air at one difficulty level lower than is usually required.
AVACs are virtually fearless Cobra pilots who have proven their effectiveness to the organization on multiple occasions, both in and out of combat. As such, they are more likely to receive assistance from it in the course of their duties, at least compared to standard Air-Vipers.
Various Callings: the vast majority of AVACs joined Cobra due to their insatiable Greed for material possessions. Others, however, reflect the nature of Soldiers attempting to prove their skills, or are even unrepentant Thrill-Seekers!
The original AVAC uniform is built around the base of a red flight suit, one adorned with chrome trim in various places. This is complemented by a chrome chest plate, black leather boots and gloves with chrome plates, a black leather belt, and a distinctive chrome, bullet-shaped helmet.
AVACs are elite pilots in the Cobra ranks, because not that many of its operatives can qualify to fly the Firebat. Sure, Air-Vipers are champing at the bit to get their hands on the Pocket Rocket, but few of them have the requisite skills required to pilot the things.
After proving themselves capable of operating Cobra's single-most user-unfriendly aircraft, AVACs can generally write their own ticket, readily capable of transferring into the squads of any other flying weapon platform the organization is currently supporting.
After all, the commanders of Cobra's flight crews are always looking for more highly skilled, relatively fearless (if not necessarily reckless) pilots to operate their latest and greatest aircraft. And AVACs, by and large, are the best of the bunch!
the BTR Firebat (i): almost twenty years after it first put the originals to use, Cobra fielded a BRT variant on the Firebat. It can be configured to launch vertically from a static platform, or to achieve flight via a conventional runway, and is also described in its own entry.
The second uniform AVACs utilized is also based upon a bright red flight suit. It is accented with a black and chrome breastplate, chromed plates on their upper arms and the front of their legs, red and black leather boots and gloves, and their signature, bullet-shaped chrome helmet.
the Scythe (i): derived from detailed intelligence on the GI Joe Skystriker, Cobra's Scythes are similarly based on the F-14 Tomcat. As such, it takes a pilot well-versed in less forgiving aircraft, like the AVACs, to pilot them! Cobra's Scythes are expanded upon in their own entry.
Submachine Guns (a): if their Scythes are shot down, AVACs can fire these secondary weapons to inflict their Agility +4 in damage with a single shot, their Agility +5 in damage with a short burst, or their Agility +6 in damage with a continuous burst of ammunition.
The third AVAC uniform is built upon the base of a jet black flight suit. Upon these, AVACs wear chromed armor plates on their upper legs and arms, black leather boots and gloves, a black leather belt, and as always, their signature, bullet-shaped chrome helmets.
Cobra directories featuring a version of AVACs:
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