Origin (Valiant Universe)
After the battle between X-O Manowar, Solar and the Spider Aliens on the moon the U.S. goverment discovered the existence of the X-O armor and considered it a threat to national security. After Aric Dacia refused to work with the gooverment, "Deep Freeze Project" was activated to eliminate the threat. Aric was lured into an Antarctic base were a team of scientist and soldiers, lead by the CIA agent Peter Garrett and Doctor Philip Zahn, tried to destroy the armor. The operation was a failure and X-O eventually escaped but Zahn had obtained enough datas to reserve engineer the armor main systems.
Over the course of the next year, Zahn was able to build four suits of armor, while general Kendall, colonel Gardner and senator Ackermann scouted for the soldiers to use them. Unfortunatly they rarely agreed upon who to use, Kendall wished the unit to be a Marines only operation, while Ackermann was worried about having a Vietnam war veteran in it.
In the end they put a team together including three Marines NCOs and a NSA agent.
The Armorines were created by Jorge Gonzalez and Jim Calafiore.
After much bickering and questioning Kendall and Ackermann choose a four man team to send into first mission:
- Gunnery Sergeant Harold "Gunny" Lewis (U.S.M.C.): the oldest member of the team (he was about 40 at the beginning of the serie), Gunny had served two turns of duty in Vietnam. Gunny is the most experienced member of the team and the only one with solid tactical skills, making him automaticly the team field commander. Despite his age and years of chain smoking, Gunny has enough experience to score equal or better than his comrades at field training. He's a widower and has a daughter called Cora Lewis.
- Staff Sergeant Micheal Sirot (N.S.A.): a N.S.A. agent with extensive paramilitary training, Sirrot was the only survicor of the security task force from "Deep Freeze Project". Given his skills at infiltration and hand-to-hand combat, Sirrot was selected to be the team point-man. A very practical and cynical man, Sirrot constantly argued with Gunny over leadership and combat decisions, but eventually came to respect the aged veteran code of honor. Unfortunatly his double loyalties, to the unit and the N.S.A. caused him various problems over time.
- Lance Corporal James Earl Williams (U.S.M.C.): the largest and strongest member of the team Williams was the unit demolition expert. Very little was explained about his background but he appeared to be the most balanced and stable member of the unit.
- Lance Corporal Antonio Cordova (U.S.M.C.): the son a family of Cuban immigrants from Miami, Cordova is the unit field medic. He suffers from a slight for of hydrophobia after the nightmarish escape from Cuba, when he was only 6. His family still lives in Miami and he was about to marry his girlfriend Sarah Vaugh.
- Sergeant Willaim Sturgess (U.S.M.C.): wehn Gunny was blackmailed into leaving the unit, general Kendall activated the Armorines reserves and selected Sturgess as the unit new field commander.
Since the suits lacked any form of internal automation or on-board A.I., like the original X-O armor, each soldier was paired with a co-pilot that managed the extra functions through a radio connection. These operators were all U.S.M.C. officiers.
- Major Myra Lane (U.S.M.C.): the only woman in the unit, Myra Lane was assigned to be Gunny co-pilot. While extremly expert and skilled, Lane lacked any actual combat experience, which made Gunny very uncomfortable.
- Second Lieutenant Clark Hossen (U.S.M.C.): Sirrot co-pilot Hossen was the most diplomatic member of the team and generally the voice of reason in many situations. It was laso hinted that he was homosexual and very interested in Sirrot.
- Lietenant Carl Pierce (U.S.M.C.): James Earl Williams co-pilot
- Lieutenant Manuel Dominguez (U.S.M.C.): Antonio Cordova co-pilot
Major Story Arcs
Deep Freeze Project
In March 1993 the Pentagon learn of the existence of X-O Manowar through satelite pictures taken during the battle between X-O, Solar and Spider Aliens on the moon about six months before. Cross referenceing the data they discover that the armor is in posssion of Aric Dacia, C.E.O. of the Orb Industries, but a more deep control through the I.R.S. reveals that Dacia is actually a man without a past.
Senator Ackermann appoints special agent Peter Garrett, from the CIA, to lead a task force comprised of elements from the N.S.A., the army and the marines to seize the armor from Dacia or dispose of it. To this end Garrett first tries to blackmail Dacia with the help of Helen Mandrake, a I.R.S. operative. After the blackmail fails they lure Dacia in Antartica.
Randy Cartier, the Orb chief of security follows Aric there. She is first captured forcing Aric to surrender the armor but later they escape. During the escape Aric destroy the base and kills all the members of the task force except for Micheal Sirot.
Using the informations hacked from the base computers and the help of Toyo Harada, Aric blackmails senator Ackermann into leaving him be.
Unit, Corps, God, Country
In spite of the Antartica defeat doctor Philip Zahn was able to analyze the X-O structure long enough to retro-engineer many out its systems. Over the next months Zahn and his team work 24/7 to build four functional prototypes, while senator Ackermann, general Kendall and colonel Gardner debate over the candicates for the project.
In late April the first prototype become operative and colonel Gardner reveal to Zahn that the goverment intend to deploy the Armorines against X-O. After a bare month of training the mission start. The Armorines ambush Aric and manage to corner him, lsing one armor in the process. At the last moment general Kendall appears and reveal that Gardner orders were fakes. The fight is over and Gardenr has to take the fall.
Sirot discover, through is NSA contacts, that Garrett was the man behind the fake orders and make a deal with him. Sirot will let him live, fi Gardner keeps the Armorines out of his plans in the future.
Send in the Armorines
After the first debacle general Kendall takes direct command of the Armorines. Their new objective are the H.A.R.D. Corps. As a private paramilitary unit, with access to high level technology, the H.A.R.D. Corps are considered a potential threat to national security. During the battle between the two team Gunny recognizes two of the members as former comrades from his last tour of duty in Vietnam. He calls off the mission on the ground that having a long range support to activate their implants the H.A.R.D. Corps might have booby traps in their bodies too. Whiel Knedall is very disappointed he consider Gunny reasons good enough.
Gunny start investigating on his own and meet with Charles "Gunslinger" Palmer hsi former unit commander, now the leader of the H.A.R.D. Corps. The two are able to clarify some of the details and came to a mutual understanding. Meantime the three remaining Armorines are sent into the field against the H.A.R.D. Corps again. Only the intervention of the C.I.A. prevents the situation to escalate and the teams went their separate ways.
The next mission is set after the USS Benchley, a nuclear submarine, sinks 500 Km off the Australian coast. At first a Navy S.E.A.L. unit is dispatched to recover the on-board computer and disarm the reactor, but they all die in mysterious circumstances. The Armorines are called along with Tristan Atkins, an Australian deep diver and friend of Gunny.
During the mission the team is attacked by what looks like a pack of mutated sharks. Sirot is hit during the operation, losing is communication equipment, and is forced to resurface, in doing so he is ambushed by a Spider-Aliens' ship and captured. After getting the reactor core to safety the team discover Sirot's missing and goes back to get him. In doing so they discover a Spider Alien base at the bottom of the Pacific and blow it.
Partially as a consequence of the Armorines actions the Spider Aliens' ships hidden across the globe becomes active and position themselves in geosyncronous orbit. The Pentagon decide to send the Armorines to investigate and contact the H.A.R.D. Corps for support.
The two teams are sent in orbit, but in the meantime the Chaos Effect takes place leaving them effectivly stranded. The things get more complicated by the arrival of Aric Dacia - who's after the Spider-Aliens for personal vengeage - and the fact that the consciusness of Toyo Harada posses Flatline, one of the members of the H.A.R.D. Corps. In the following battle X-O is capture and placed in a stasis tube.
Despite all the difficulties the teams are able to infiltrate the mothership and free several prisoners, including a lot of soldiers captured by the alienes and kept in suspended animation. X-O frees himself and trigger the self-destruction mechanism of the mothership. The soldiers among the prisoners sacrifice themselves to allow the Armorines and the rest of the prisoers to escape, leaving the whole team with a aftertaste of defeat.
The following mission for the Armorines are less complex, first an extraction in Nicaragua, then a mission in Iraq to retrieve a NSA agent and kill a scientist working ona new kind of biological weapon. These and other minor operations give the Armorines the credit they need to start operate as a more independent unit, Kendall is even able to get a presidential order to shut Ackermann off the command structure of the team.
Meanwhile Sirot gets involved in a N.S.A. investigation regarding a cuban immigrant called Arturo Vasquez. A brilliant physicist, Vasquez fleed Cuba in the 60s and became a U.S. citizen, he worked for the army designing weapons until his recent retirement. Sirot tracks him down in Mexico and discover that Vasquez is still building weapon, using alien technology and sells them through Javier Cortez, a major weapon smuggler.
The Cuban Connection
Based on Sirot's intelligence, the team discover that one shipment of weapons was laready sold to Eduardo Colon, a Cuban refugee looking for a way to bring Castro down. Given the possible repercussion of having a group of armed U.S. citizen declaring war at Cuba, the Pentagon decide to deploy the Armorines on Cuban shore to intercept Colon before the crisis escalate.
But in the meantime Ackermann is up to something, with the help of Peter Garrett, they install a spy cam in Sirot's armor, hoping to get some evidence to shut off the Armorines and rebuild the project under their control.
As the team arrives in Cuba things got complicated, first they involved into a firefight with Colon's militia and a detachment of Cuban troops. Then the team is forced to pursue Colon inside Castro's private compound. In all of this Cordova's loyalties are questioned as he can't bring himslef to shot Colon - being both Cuban refugees - and he almost ends up killing Castro himself.
In the end the team is able to pull out the mission, but Gunny decide to blast Castro's arsenal away, to prevent Cordova for doing the same, a decision he will soon regret.
The Ties That Bind
Back from Cuba the team is enjoying some R&R when Ackermann makes his move. Using the footage from Sirot's armor he blackmails Gunny out of the unit, threatening to have the whole unit court martialed for violating the U.S. Neutrality Act when he blew up the weapon cache on Cuba.
Gunny bids some time to think about it and confronts Sirot on the matter. Sensing Garrett involment, Sirot ambush and kills him, sending the remains to Ackermann as a reminder. But is already too late and Gunny has to resign from the U.S.M.C., but he swear to get back sooner or later.
Realizing that they needed more armors then the one X-O Armor, the government funded Project Armorines. The team was commanded by Colonel Megan Wylie and supported by Trish Boudreau. The suits are designed by Dr Donovan Wylie, the X-O Manowar himself, and incorporated many of the features of the actual Manowar Armor, reverse engineered by Wylie himself. At the beginning of the series the current version of the armors are under attack by an unknown extra-terrestrial force. Of the three team members only one survived.
After the loss of Team 1, Wylie created four new suits, all with upgraded features. The team came under fire almost immediately on their first mission. The Armorines support team was wiped out but the team managed to capture an E.T. that provided the army with vital intel. During the mission(s) that followed the source and two armorines were killed. The remainder of the team were rescued by Donovan Wylie in the X-O Manowar armor.
Armorines Team 1
Michelle Sirot (USMC)
Sergant Antonio Cordova (USMC) - Killed in Action
Corperal Nunez (USMC) - Killed in Action
Armorines Team 2
Gunnery Sergent Harold "Gunny" Lewis (USMC)
Lieutenant Myra Lane (USMC)
Michelle Sirot (USMC) - Killed in Action
Corperal James "Tork" Torkleson (USMC) - Killed in Action