* Note: Star-Vipers 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.
Star-Vipers are elite Cobra operatives that are both highly trained and artificially augmented. After proving they have the required skills, Star-Vipers are surgically altered to withstand pressure extremes, and cybernetically enhanced for bursts of greater reflexes!
Resistance to Pressure Variance (s): allowing them to fly aircraft far above Angstrom's Line, Star-Vipers are surgically enhanced to better withstand the inhospitable conditions there. As such, they resist low pressure conditions with intensity 16, or +4, ability.
Neural Shunt (w): implanted in the right side of their brain, this electromagnetic shunt can be triggered to temporarily bolster Star-Vipers' reflexes in high-speed, high-atmosphere combat. This is effectively an intensity 12 Ability Boost for their Agility.
Implant Psychosis Statistic: intensity 2.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Implant Psychosis: their brains rewired by Cobra (mad) scientists, the behavior of Star-Vipers is forever altered. While they perform with insect-like efficiency in the midst of combat, they are aloof and distracted otherwise, unless they can pass an easy difficulty Willpower (IPS) action.
Knife (s): serving mostly as a tool to cut parachute lines, Star-Vipers 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 in a pinch.
Sidearm (a): most Cobras carry at least one backup piece, and Star-Vipers maintain this tradition. 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.
Space Suit (s): the Star-Vipers' uniform provides them intensity 20 Resistance to Cold, Pressure Variance, and Ultraviolet Radiation, intensity 12 Resistance to Centrifugal Forces and Piercing damage, and intensity 1 Environmental Independence for air (ten hour supply).
Stellar Stiletto (i): capable of combat in either the atmosphere or the inky void of space, the Stellar Stiletto is Cobra's first mass-produced spacecraft. The Star-Vipers' pride and joy, this revolutionary vehicle is described fully in its own vehicular entry.
Aerial Combat (a): one does not become a Star-Viper without being an effective fighter pilot, as they cannot earn this rank until they've served time as a Strato-Viper first. As such, they may attempt combat actions while flying aircraft at a reduced difficulty level.
Astronaut (a): trained to fight on or off the earth, Star-Vipers possess numerous skills their Strato-Viper forebears do not. They can effectively operate spacecraft, navigate in three dimensions, handle variable gravity, and even traverse hostile environs at a reduced difficulty.
Boxing (s): Star-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 Star-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): Star-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): Cobra pilots who have earned the rank of Star-Viper will have mastered this skill long ago in their criminal careers. 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 initially recruited them for, Star-Vipers are all highly competent pilots, and most of them are true experts in their field. Star-Vipers may attempt actions to control aircraft in the air at one difficulty level lower than is usually required.
Star-Vipers are held in high regard by Cobra - or, at the very least, deemed worth of sinking considerable resources into their creation. Star-Vipers can usually rely upon the organization for aid should they request it, unless a more valuable operative would be lost in the process.
Various Callings: the vast majority of Star-Vipers 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 intent on World Domination, after a fashion!
Star-Vipers' costume is, in fact, a space suit! Primarily jet black in hue, the Star-Vipers' space suit is accented with golden gloves, a golden knife sheath and sidearm holster, a golden flight harness, and a black helmet whose mirrored visor is red in hue.
Becoming one of Cobra's Star-Vipers is a Herculean task. To begin with, prospective applicants must already be Strato-Vipers, who themselves must have logged over 1,500 hours of flight time, be rated on numerous fixed-wing aircraft, and have extensive combat experience.
Furthermore, a Star-Viper must be willing to go under the knife, their brains augmented with a neural shunt that can bolster their reflexes for short periods of time. This is in addition to the surgeries they already received as Strato-Vipers to withstand extremely low pressure.
If willing and able, after having proven themselves while flying the Night Raven, Strato-Vipers are trained in the use of the Stellar Stiletto, cybernetically enhanced, and cut loose on Cobra's enemies - both in the atmosphere of earth and the inky blackness of space!
Star-Vipers are incredibly rare in Cobra's ranks, due to both the high bar to qualify for the job, and the sheer expense and effort involved in creating them. The job pays staggeringly well, however, and comes with the perk of being able to legitimately call oneself a starfighter pilot.
The only problem is that Star-Vipers are in such high demand that there isn't much farther to go in the Cobra hierarchy. Once the group has poured so much resources into their creation, Cobra doesn't readily let its elite, orbital combat fighters transfer to another position.
Luckily, most Star-Vipers generally can't conceive of a job that they would find more enjoyable.
Cobra directories featuring a version of Star-Vipers:
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