Finally! Whew. Very, very rough rough draft as follows:
"As one of the most recent additions to X-Corps’ arsenal, the newly-developed Mark II VOHC, or Variable-Ordnance Heavy Cannon, hasn’t had much in the way of field-testing. Despite the lack of a strong service record, however, the VOHC has already become a lasting favorite of X-Corps veterans due to its indelible combination of ruggedness, reliability, and raw firepower.
While the untrained might view the bulky VOHC as cumbersome and unwieldy, in skilled hands the weapon’s relatively compact profile and ease of maneuverability (aided by a “hip-clip” which secures the weapon to the user’s belt) allow it the versatility of a standard-issue assault rifle. Conceived as a multi-role infantry support weapon, the VOHC is a magazine-fed, gas-operated “cannon” - essentially a man-portable recoilless rifle. It began life as a product of the United States’ now-defunct NGFW (“Next-Generation Future Warrior”) program as a means of granting an individual soldier light anti-armor capability. Due to financial and economical constraints, the endeavor met little success, and once the GAFR (Global Armed Forces Reduction) Treaty was signed into action, the military ended up selling off many of its assets to third parties following decisive budget cuts. Thus the prototype VOHC fell into X-Corps’ hands.
Thanks to X-Corps’ pioneering advancements in firearms technology, it wasn’t long until the VOHC’s vision became a reality. Chambered for a proprietary .30-caliber High-Velocity Armor-Piercing round, the VOHC is capable of ablating light vehicle plating within its effective range of <blank> (NOTE: I’ll leave this to you developers to decide ;-) ) meters. With six rounds to a magazine and a smooth, practically recoil-free semi-auto action, the “Jackhammer,” as it has been affectionately nicknamed, is able to pound target vehicles into submission with the help of a computer-assisted, basic Friend-or-Foe enabled aiming system. Though the weapon utilizes a number of gas vents arranged along the length of the barrel in order to reduce recoil, the real trick is X-Corps’ External Velocity system: upon discharge and exiting the barrel, a coated, dissipating gas propellant ignites, driving the projectile to its maximum velocity, thereby minimizing internal harmonic destabilization. Even without recoil, the sheer weight of the unit requires a steady hand and nerves of steel if the operator wishes to engage the enemy with any measure of precision. While the HVAP round is quite literally capable of sawing infantry units in half, directing an accurate shot at such a small target is another matter entirely.
With this possible shortcoming in mind, X-Corps Advanced Weapons Development researchers created a modular feed system compatible with same-caliber secondary ammo types: high-explosive anti-personnel and wide-range incendiary shells. Drastically expanding the VOHC’s mission profile, not to mention earning it its namesake, the weapon’s multi-role capabilities make it just as effective against soft targets like infantry units as it is against armored vehicles.
The .30-caliber High-Explosive Anti-Personnel round is fired in the same manner as the HVAP. The only difference is the tip itself – functioning in much the same way as an anti-personnel grenade, the tip contains an explosive solution that explodes upon impact, inflicting casualties within its <blank>-meter kill radius. The effect is completely non-fragmentary, as any damage done is a direct result of the detonation itself. Approved as a non-collateral-damaging solution, the limited-range explosive does little to no structural damage. On its own, the HEAP shot is intended strictly as a means of disabling enemy infantry, and as such, is ineffective against armored units. But it has proven more than capable of fulfilling its role – especially when used against groups, or clusters of enemy soldiers. Unarmored targets within the kill radius aren’t likely to survive the explosion. (NOTE: so they think. *snicker*)
Another type of modular ammunition is the Wide-Range Incendiary shell. Again, it’s fired in much the same manner as the standard armor-piercing round, the only difference being its plastic tip. Upon striking an object, the plastic sheath shatters, and the immediate area surrounding the point of impact is blanketed with an experimental phosphorous solution that sticks to virtually anything, igniting shortly after air contact, and burning for roughly ten to twenty seconds until exhausting itself and becoming completely extinguished. Like the HEAP round, the WRI shell wasn’t designed for anti-armor purposes, but rather as a method to disable, or at the very least demoralize, enemy ground units. They’re also useful for cutting off the enemy’s advance, or even boxing them in, allowing for a more effective retreat. The thick, obscuring cloud of smoke is also perfect for cover. But, in itself, the incendiary shot is quite dangerous, if even more so than the high-explosive ordnance. Even though it doesn’t take long for the phosphoric cloud to burn itself out, there’s a definite danger of the blaze spreading to nearby structures. As such, the WRI has been deemed inappropriate for use in civilian-inhabited areas. Care should be taken not to endanger squad-mates by carelessly discharging WRI’s, as well.
With so many options available, the VOHC Mk II has transcended its original, intended role as a simple anti-armor tool, evolving into something more akin to a squad support weapon. Capable of engaging a wide range of targets, and filling roles from assault to distance support, the VOHC is a fine choice for an accomplished marksman. An operative with less-than-proficient shooting skills may find the cumbersome rifle difficult to deal with, and those who lack the endurance required to effectively maneuver the 22-pound weapon better stick with something lighter. Still, despite its initial unfriendliness, the VOHC is a vital component of any squad, granted it’s in the right hands."
Think it needs a blindfold?
Edited by The Master Maniac, 22 June 2006 - 04:04 PM.