While often forgotten by the current powers of the Fringe, the United Systems Colonial Marines once had a powerful arm within frontier space. They were a key feature in their age-old conflict with the USSS, and stored themselves mostly in the Western to North-Western arms of the galaxy. Through many conflicts both within and without, they were forced eventually to draw themselves thin, before abandoning the project altogether.
However, they didn’t take most of the equipment with them...
Following the hasty return of the USCM to Civilized Space, many outposts were left unaccounted for in Fringe space. To this day, USCM bunkers, caches, and small colonies decorate celestial bodies all around the North-Western Fringe. Such places are considered commonplace by spacers who roam the area, so much so that coordinates to them are used as bartering chips in certain circles. Most of what is recovered include spare parts, ship fuel, ammunition, rations, and clean water, though items like ships or turrets are occasionally found. These prove of great use to those without ready access to the likes of Tolkin-Cantor Industries, Haven, or other friendly traders.
However, the absolute most common items come from the basic USCM ‘kit’, which ever soldier was equipped with. It includes the following:
Having seen major use in the USCM-USSS war, the S.71 Pulse Rifle was a staple of the United Systems kit, and is now a staple of many smuggler’s and low life’s. The design is sleek, though antiquated and allows for switching between semi-automatic and three-shot burst fire. Prior to their use in the Fringe, the design was wholly ballistic. After introduction to frontier space, various early models of laser or plasma were created and used by Fringe recruits. All variants, the Pulse Rifle was famous for its modularity- Especially when in the hands of less trained Fringe-goers, who were more prone to improvisational combat. While more typical attachments for the firearm included flashlights, under barrel grenade launchers, extended magazines, laser sights, or AI-assisted aiming, there is almost no telling how many unique variations seed the Fringe after the USCM retreat.
One issue that plagues all makes and models of Pulse Rifle nowadays is their notorious maintenance requirements. This was only a minor setback in the hands of trained marines but in the claws and talons of the scoundrels that now use them, it has become almost a certainty that any Pulse Rifle you receive will be in some state of disrepair. Many make valuable lives just knowing how to clean the bastards.
Originally, the name ‘Pulse Rifle’ came from the engineers who designed them as Gauss technology, but cost reduction had seen them transitioning into basic ballistics in most cases.
Attainability: Semi-closed. Available for characters who are or were in the USCM, as well as anyone who can get their hands on them through on-screen interactions.
Another shining member of the basic USCM kit, the standard-issue Alloy-Reinforced-Kevlar body armor, or ‘A.R.K. rig’, was an easy to mod and easy to produce design utilizing primarily Kevlar and Durasteel. Utilizing the modular benefits of the Pulse Rifle while lacking the issues of heavy maintenance, the classic style saw a bucket-helmet around the trooper’s head, with a thin body armor of durasteel and a chestpiece of Kevlar. Many parts of the design were made so that it could easily be changed out with the proper tools, allowing for adaptable defense. The helmet, shoulders, and sides allowed for gadgets to be attached, including flash lights, dash tech harnesses, visor screens, and at least one attempt at a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher.
Attainability: Open. Very common around the Fringe, especially in groups that don’t have the best reputation.
Not traditionally considered part of any USCM kit or formally listed on any ledger, the USSS conflict was a time of creativity for the United Systems Fringe arm. This came mostly in allowing the many local lunatics and gunsmiths of the Fringe to have enough resources to field-test their own designs. Most of what came out of such ideas proved useless, inefficient, or highly explosive. Some did not.
Attainability: Closed. Only gotten from events or with GM permission.