It is 2025, a decade after the first female soldiers were allowed to attend the Army’s premier leadership school (Ranger School). Since then, there has been a full integration of women across all facets of the military, including special operations. There were some growing pains. In 2018, two of the joint-chiefs actually resigned in protest to the integration. However, all protests stopped after the detonation of a nuclear weapon in New Delhi, India.

It is believed that the attack was carried out by ISIS. Continuing its trend from 2015 ISIS marched across the Middle East eventually invading Iran. The world changed after Iran was defeated. Although Iran had denied it for years, they did indeed have a stock pile of nuclear weapons. Even lacking sophisticated delivery systems (ICBM), in the hands of a suicide bomber these weapons would yield catastrophic results.

Russia and China immediately began fortifying their borders. Russia, having successful annexed Ukraine, and Romania fortified its southern territory from Kazakhstan all the way into Europe. China fortified its western border along Kyrgyzstan and the former countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Knowing it needed help, India allowed China to utilize New Delhi as a transit/operations base. Upwards of 350,000 Chinese soldiers, and over 10 million civilians were believed to have been present when the nuclear bomb went off. Easily the most catastrophic, and violent event in human history.

Knowing that something like this could happen in the United States, and wanting to take the fight to the enemy, the U.S. Military formed a new special operations unit called SCABS (Self Contained Assault Battle-Suits). The battle-suits were environmentally sealed, allowing the operator to fight in any environment (nuclear fallout, underwater, and even space). The suits came equipped with an oxygen-conversion system which converted the operators exhaled breath, as well as external contaminated air, back into breathable air. 

The battle-suits medical innovations were revolutionary during their initial unveiling. Vitals monitoring, automatic drug administrations, self applying tourniquets and a stasis mode (severely wounded operators would go into a drug induced coma allowing them the chance to be recovered and treated). Armor was specifically developed for the battle-suits. Small/medium arms fire had zero chance of causing any damage to the SCABS. Larger weapons such as RPGs could rattle the operator, but rarely incapacitated a battle-suit. However, SCABS operators needed to be cautious around certain crew served weapons, and vehicle mounted cannons.

The battle-suits also increased the operators strength. Using hydraulics, and powered by a compact electric engine, operators could easily lift 1000 lbs, run at sustained speeds of 30mph, and withstand blasts that would have torn up-armored humvees apart during OIF/OEF. Initially, the weaponry of the suits was integrated into the arms of the battle-suits. This turned out to be disastrous. Operators couldn’t retrieve extra ammo from each other, and when battle-suits were breached by enemy fire, often there would be a chain reaction causing the entire suit to explode. 

Weapons were eventually designed specifically for the SCABS. Without having to worry about weight, the weapons were extremely powerful, and effective. There were four basic load-outs for a SCABS operator: heavy weapons, recon/sniper, standard, assault. All load-outs all came standard with melee weapons. Most SCABS operators choose either a long sword, or two tomahawks. Although the melee weapons sound primitive, in the hands of a SCABS operator they could single-handedly shift the momentum of a battle.

SCABS Load-outs

Heavy weapons: operators use a modified  .50 GAU-8/A Avenger Gatling-type cannon. This weapon fires large depleted uranium armor-piercing shells.  Prior to SCABS this weapon system could only be used on a vehicle mount. These operators have the ability to destroy armor, bunkers, aircraft, and strategic structures.

Recon/Sniper: operators use an electrically powered electromagnetic railgun. Using the battle-suits power supply this railgun can achieve a muzzle velocity exceeding Mach 10. These operators have been able to hit targets as far out as 5 miles, depending on the terrain and computer assist. If you need a HVT (High Value Target) killed, these are your guys. They also provide overwatch and quarantine security when needed.

Standard: operators use a modified XM25 CDTE.  The XM25 fires 25mm grenades that are capable of air-burst at various distances. Integrated into the suits computer system the operator can quickly select, or change burst ranges. There are a variety of rounds for this weapon (thermobaric, ADM, HE, Armor Piercing, etc.), making it an all round choice for combat.

Assault: operators who use this load-out are expecting to be inside structures, or where using the other load-outs were deemed impractical. There was a lot of experimentation with this load-out, however it was eventually decided that a flame-thrower was the best choice. The FT2 was extremely effective in close-combat, easy to maintain, and allowed the operator to reduce permanent damage to structures.

Traditional deployment of SCABS is via airborne. Small thrusters on the boots, and back slow the rate of descent to a level that can be absorbed by the suit (approximately 60ft per second). A typical mission would involve four SCABS (one of each load-out). Due to the extreme cost to produce a SCABS, they are very rarely deployed in groups any larger than 12. In fact, there have only been three instances where such deployments occurred: the battle of Tehran (100 SCABS), the battle of Kabul (50 SCABS), the defense of Tel Aviv (60 SCABS).

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Today is April 20th, 2025 and it will mark the fourth time that a large-scale SCABS deployment will take place.  My name is Robert, and I am a Heavy weapons SCABS operator with the 2nd SCABS Battalion, Cco, 1st platoon.  2nd SCABS Battalion, has been assigned the task of taking the enemy stronghold of Paris, Cco in particular, will be the main effort.

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The aircraft rocked slightly from turbulence as it approached the drop zone. All internal aircraft lights were extinguished, and the SCABS operators hung silently from their drop harnesses.  The internal comms cracked to life, “1st platoon 1 min to drop”.  Simultaneously with the update, the floor of the aircraft began to open. Robert looked down into the darkness while making minuet adjustments to his gear, and computer systems.  Activating his thermal overlay, he could see structures zipping past.  “30 seconds” came over the comms. The harnesses were swung into place over the now missing floor.  With a snap, Robert, and the rest of 1st platoon released from their harnesses. 

For what seemed like an eternity, Robert simply floated in position, and then as gravity gripped harder, he was sucked into the darkness.  Having released its jumpers, the aircraft began banking towards its extraction coordinates.  In the distance, the pilots could see multiple nuclear detonations, “god help us” gasped one pilot.

It appeared that the enemy wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

(Featured image courtesy of wallpapervortex.com).