* Cobra Recruits will generally have either Boxing or Martial Arts as a skill, but not both - unless they are exceptional fellows. If a Recruit goes with Boxing, he or she will have a d code for both Strength and Agility; this is the standard choice for the most part. On the other hand, if he or she goes with Martial Arts, they will have an x code for Strength and a c code for Agility.
The teeming hordes of Cobra's military, its Recruits are absorbed from the ranks of the world's murders, terrorists, thieves, and other scum of the earth. Cobra Recruits are the absolute bottom rung of the Cobra organization. Those who show promise are quickly promoted to Cobra Recruit Officer and beyond, and those who don't, well, let's just say they're very, very easy to get rid of.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
AK-47 Assault Rifle (a): this Russian-built, semi or fully automatic rifle is built to last, being readily adapted for almost any duty imaginable. Cobra Recruits may discharge a single round with this firearm to inflict their Agility +4 in damage, a rapid, semi-automatic burst of rounds to inflict their Agility +5 in damage, or a continuous, automatic burst of fire to inflict their Agility +6 in damage.
Grenades (i): the shiftless masses of Cobra Recruits have been equipped with two grenades apiece, in addition to their other hardware. They carry one incendiary and one fragmentary grenade, both of which inflict intensity 10 damage of the proper type (fiery or shrapnel) to everybody within near missile distance of the grenade's detonation. Nasty, yes?
Helmet (s): the lowest rank of Cobra operative, all Recruits wear factory second Viper helmets. Theirs are blue with a golden, acrylic/composite face plate that acts as a one-way mirror. The helmet offers intensity 4 (+1) protection against head attacks, reduced to intensity 2 on the face plate. It also has an intensity 4 RTO suite built in, offering communications within ten miles.
Knife (s): though they'd usually rather not do so, all Cobra Recruits are equipped to fight hand to hand in the event that they completely run out of ammunition (and they usually carry several magazines to prevent this). These blades are of material strength 12, and in a Recruit's hands, they can be used to inflict his or her Strength +2 in slashing damage with each deadly strike.
Multi-Layer Body Armor (s): similar to their helmets, Recruits receive factory second versions of the Viper's utilitarian, Kevlar weave body armor, which offers them some defense from assault. This handy costume offers the Cobra Recruit intensity 4 (+1) protection from physical attacks. This may not defend against heavier artillery, but it dulls small arms fire for the most part.
Pistol (a): in the event that one's AK-47 is disabled, a Cobra Recruit often has a spare handgun handy, stored in a convenient shoulder holster for quick access. These firearms can discharge a single round which inflicts one's Agility +4 in damage, or a short burst which drains the entire magazine, but inflicts their Agility +5 in damage. The magazine can presumably hold 8 rounds before it needs to be swapped out.
Boxing (s): all Cobra Recruits are trained in at least one form of unarmed combat once they hook up with the group, if they don't already have one under their belt. A majority learn the fine art of boxing, allowing them to divide their pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee attacks per exchange, the second of which will occur as a contingent action. *
Guns (a): a given prerequisite, all Cobra operatives must have the ability to wield firearms in combat; if they don't have it upon joining Cobra, they are trained - and quickly. Any Cobra Recruit can wield a regular, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol with proficiency, doing so at one difficulty level lower than is normally necessary.
Martial Arts (a): a rare few Cobra Recruits transform their unarmed fighting style into an art form. Those who have managed to do so will be able to resolve unarmed attacks at one difficulty level lower than would otherwise be required, a benefit which extends to any actions they attempt to dodge incoming damage or to catch weapons thrown at their person. *
Military (w): a quasi-military organization, Cobra encourages an easily recognizable (to those within, at least) command structure. As such, those not bringing experience in such matters tend to pick it up quickly, in order to rise through the ranks; those who can't typically remain right here. This skill gives Cobra Recruits an edge concerning military protocols and regulations.
* Remember: Cobra Recruits will generally have either Boxing or Martial Arts, but not both. Were some to indeed have both they'd be quickly promoted out of this rank into something more flashy and/or better paying.
Cobra Recruits theoretically have the entire organization of Cobra as their contact, in that they are members of the group and supposedly have the same goals. However, if it is more convenient to let a Recruit (or group of them) get captured or killed, the Cobra Command is more than happy to let this happen - in fact, this is a proven Cobra strategy, since even BATs are more valuable to the organization.
Various Callings: the vast, vast majority of Cobra operatives have joined up for their own, evil purposes, so choose a villainous calling and go with it! Nominally, Cobra Recruits are motivated by Greed for material possessions or aspirations of World Domination, but anything else can really apply. For instance, Storm Shadow hooked up with Cobra to gain Vengeance, etc.
The bottom-of-the-barrel Cobra Recruit's uniform is actually a variant of the Viper's, using factory seconds. It consists of blue trousers, a blue vest, and a blue, short-sleeved shirt, coupled with a blue helmet that bears a mirrored, golden face plate that completely obscures the features of its wearer. The uniform also has a black belt, black boots, and steel wrist guards.
The dregs of society, these are the people who fall for Cobra's recruitment propaganda. Typically murderers, thieves, terrorists, or other scumbags, they like the idea of making lots of money to do what they'd already be doing anyway. Of course, the trick for Cobra is to decide which of these louts are worth keeping and which they need to 'get rid of' in a hurry. It's one of the occupational hazards of a Cobra Recruit.
Additional / Substitute Equipment:
Bazooka: one new tool the Cobra Recruit carries with him or her into the field is a bazooka! This implement allows them to inflict staggering damage to enemy armor or personnel, mostly by firing large shells at their foes. This weapon can only hold one projectile at a time, and reloading is a feat which requires a full exchange to accomplish, but each shell inflicts damage per a +7 fragmentary weapon with each hit.
After almost a decade, Cobra Recruits were given a new uniform style. It consists of a blue jacket with a red Cobra sigil on the left breast, blue trousers, black leather boots and gloves with red patches on each, a black leather, pouch-laden belt, black webbing, a black bandolier with grenades attached, a blue face mask, a blue skull cap, and a blue helmet with a red Cobra sigil on the front.
Cobra directories featuring a version of the Cobra Recruit:
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