Unlike a majority of Cobra operatives, Strato-Vipers feature at least one super-human capability. While they lack powers due to mutated genes or occult happenstance, they have been surgically augmented to the point that they can function in conditions approaching vacuum.
Resistance to Pressure Variance: allowing them to fly their Night Raven's far above Angstrom's Line, Strato-Vipers are surgically enhanced to better resist the inhospitable conditions there. As such, they resist low pressure conditions with Amazing (50) ability.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Helmet: like all Cobra pilots, Strato-Vipers generally wear helmets which completely obscure their features, and that have a practical benefit. Their black and crimson headgear provides them Good (10) protection against physical attacks striking them in the head.
Knife: serving mostly as a tool to cut parachute lines, Strato-Vipers always carry a blade with them. They can use these implements, of Remarkable (30) m.s., to cut through items of up to like m.s., or to inflict Edged Attack damage in a pinch.
the Night Raven: one of Cobra's most lauded vehicles, the Night Raven can fly far higher than just about any otehr aircraft on earth. Capable of spying with impunity and featuring a secondary fighter drone, the Night Raven is described more fully in its own description.
Sidearm: most Cobras carry at least one backup piece, and Strato-Vipers are no exception to this rule. They can discharge a single round from these weapons to inflict Typical (6) Shooting damage, or a semi-automatic burst of such to inflict Good (10) Shooting damage.
Aerial Combat: one does not become a Strato-Viper without being an effective fighter pilot, whether they brought that talent with them to Cobra or picked it up on the job. As such, they may attempt combat FEAT rolls while flying any aircraft at a +1 CS.
Guns: all Cobra operatives have the ability to wield firearms in combat, and Strato-Vipers are no exception to this rule. They may discharge any standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol as if their Agility was +1 CS higher than is listed above.
Martial Arts type A or B: furthermore, Strato-Vipers are well-versed in the art of self-defense. They either wield type a, allowing them to Slam or Stun foes regardless of their comparative Strength or Endurance, or b, granting them a +1 CS to hit in unarmed combat.
Military: Cobra pilots cannot earn the rank of Strato-Viper without mastering this talent, 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, Strato-Vipers are all highly competent pilots, and more than a few of them are true experts in their field. Strato-Vipers may attempt actions to Control aircraft while in the air at a +1 CS to their normal rank.
Strato-Vipers can generally rely upon the Cobra organization for assistance should they request it, for they have proven themselves to the group on numerous occasion - and it has invested an inordinate amount of time and effort in grooming them until they've reached this point.
The Strato-viper uniform consists of a primarily dark gray and red flight suit, one that is coupled with gray and black leather gloves, black and red hip-hugger boots, chromed knee pads, a black leather belt, and a black and red flight helmet with a silvered visor on the front.
Qualifying to become a Strato-Viper is no easy task. First, one must be an Air-Viper in good standing, who has logged over 1,500 hours of time in the air, and be rated on multiple fixed-wing aircraft, up to and including those with four engines - but that's just for starters.
They must also have verifiable combat experience in the skies, and be willing to undergo the drastic surgical procedure required to fly Cobra aircraft above Armstrong's Line. This altitude is where most pilots simply cannot retain consciousness unaided, due to low air pressure.
This is a lot of work for some extra pay and the privilege of flying Cobra's Night Raven, but there is no shortage of villainous volunteers for the program. After all, aerial superiority is assured when doing so, since you're practically flying in space once you're up so high.
And that's a special thrill all its own, one more than worth the effort involved.
the CLAW: when prompted to action and there simply isn't time to fire up a Night Raven, Strato-Vipers are more than happy to get their hands dirty (relatively) up close and personal with their very own CLAWs. These much smaller rides are described in their own entry.
The second Strato-viper uniform includes a dark gray and dark red flight suit, one that is coupled with gray and black leather gloves, black and dark red hip-hugger boots, chromed knee pads, a black leather belt, and a black and red flight helmet with a silvered visor on the front.
Cobra directories featuring a version of Strato-Vipers:
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