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The Dragonflight,[1][2][3] (also known simply as Dragon suits[4][5][6][7] or Dragon-craft[8][9][10][11]) are a fleet of myriad aerial vehicles that Dragon and her associates create and use.

Shared TraitsEdit

Dragon's 'suits', as they are known to the public, are mechanical creations stylized with claws, scale-like armour plating and dragon-like "faces".[12] Some had wings.[13] They usually have names associated with dragons and related mythological tropes.

Since the public believed Dragon was a human who usually personally piloted her suits, the smaller suits were humanoid and the larger suits had interiors with room for a pilot.[14] They often contained fetus-like "biological computers" which were very difficult to hack, and which could be mistaken for human pilots by some powers.[15][16]

Her suits were expensive to construct, and were often funded by The Protectorate.[17][18] They also had substantial fuel costs when active.[19]

As the creator of containment foam, Dragon's suits were one of the only locations containment foam solvent was kept (the other being specialized PRT trucks under high security.)[20] She often utilized cell phone towers to communicate with them and re-program them on the fly; without them, her bandwidth was limited, rendering them easier to outsmart.[18]

Known SuitsEdit

Unnamed suits Edit

The Dragonslayers stole three unknown suits and used them to create their own suits of armour.[16]

CawthorneEdit

Cawthorne is a town in England that was once said to have a dragon nearby which would fly away when disturbed.[21][22]

The Cawthorne[23] is Dragon's rapid response unit[24] designed for speed rather than durability or firepower.[25] It had a squat, segmented, snakelike body, with a tail and four legs. Four engines mounted on the upper body doubled as weapons arrays, bristling with turrets and missiles.[25] The suit was equipped for fighting serious threats at a moment's notice, and thus carried mostly lethal weaponry. The "engines" could spray containment foam, a gas that dissolved the foam, and fire-retardant chemicals. The feet were broad metal talons, and could be electrified and leak the same foam-dissolving gas. The mouth sprayed a burning fluid of some kind.[15]

She deployed an unnamed suit, possibly the Mark One or Mark Two, against Leviathan. A durable creation that contains multiple layers, heavy weaponry and the ability to release a spray of blue-white liquid "flame" from its mouth. It also features missile turrets and the ability to shed and detonate its outer casing.[26][27]

The Mark Three was seen later described as a sleek model resembling a cross between a dragon and a fighter jet, mounted with four engines around the ‘shoulders'.[28] Primarily armed with containment foam sprayers.[29][30][31] Skitter and Tattletale identified it as an updated version of the same suit used against Leviathan.[32][33]

MelusineEdit

Melusine is a mythical female spirit, often depicted with snakelike features, and said to transform into a dragon.

The Mark Six was a suit with the ability to absorb metal and generate heat, both as a weapon and to re-forge the metal into new components. It could self-repair by creating new components and reshape itself to accommodate them; or "reincarnate", casting off it's outer layer or folding itself inside-out to reveal a new suit inside. Demonstrated immense strength, the ability to fly, the ability breathe liquid blue fire and a grappling-hook weapon in different incarnations.[34][35][36] Skitter identified it as an altered version of the unnamed suit that fought Leviathan.[35]

A Melusine V would later comes to serve as Dragon's personal craft.[37]

GlaurungEdit

Glaurung was the first dragon in Middle-Earth, known as "the Father of Dragons".

The Mark Zero was an "old model", designed to deploy drones of varying loadouts.[34][38] The size of four eighteen-wheel trucks. The mouth shot pressurized blasts of wind. When fighting the Undersiders, it launched drones the size of beach balls, equipped with electric pulses based on Armsmaster's design and antigrav panels based on Kid Win's; they would use the pulse, drop to the ground, and then reboot in a couple of seconds. The pulses would get increasingly powerful if a person refused to comply.[31][38]

LadonEdit

Ladon was a serpent-like dragon-guardian from Greek mythology.

The Mark Two: A small, almost spherical suit[28] that can generate force-fields.[34][28] The force-fields are strong enough to ignore Sundancer's attacks.[31]

Astaroth-NidhugEdit

The Nidhug is a dragon from Norse mythology. Astaroth is a demonic reinterpretation of Ishtar, often depicted as riding a dragon-like creature and said to give to mortal beings the power over serpents.

Astaroth-Nidhug: A hybrid suit, making use of the Nidhug design that was partially damaged in prior confrontations. It looked like a cohesive design, a massive gun barrel with teeth at the end, outfitted with three afterburners at the rear and three at the midsection. The size of a commercial aircraft.[28] Functions as long-range support, firing at targets from a safe spot in the stratosphere.

PythiosEdit

Pythios is another name for the Greek deity Apollo, who slew the serpent (sometimes represented as a dragon) Python.

The Mark Two had a spoked, wheel-shaped contraption on its back as wide as the suit is long, that crackles with electricity and spins faster as the suit uses it's abilities. The legs are long enough that the knees rise above the body, ending in four sharp points, and wing panels join each of the legs like flaps of skin. The body is low to the ground, with a long tail. It can fight with electrical discharges, and pull people around even if they aren't carrying metal.[29][34]

At some point, the Dragonslayers acquired a destroyed Pythios-model suit, equipping one of their number with human-sized armour derived from it that featured a rotating wheel on the back.[39]

AzazelEdit

A suit that was designed to go up against the Slaughterhouse Nine on an even footing, constructed in cooperation with Defiant. The first original suit Dragon produced in four years.[34] It took two weeks to produce. Although mechanical, it resembled a biological organism, with scales, batlike wings, and incredibly dense and numerous internal mechanisms. It had a lizardlike body, snakelike neck, and humanlike shoulders and arms. The gaps between the scales glowed like coals, and the wing-tips had holes in them. It spoke in a deep voice. The Azazel could generate thin, telescoping rods by slamming it's foot down, that rapidly formed barricades equipped with nano-thorn extrusions. It's mouth could breathe superheated air or containment foam. The chest fired a grappling hook that could freeze in a manner mimicking Clockblocker's power, but it drained the suit's power reserves.[38]

The Azazel was later reproduced in greater numbers in preperation for End of the World, and ended up being used in the effort against the The Slaughterhouse Nine-Thousand. In addition to the capabilities displayed by the original suit, they had an interior compartment outfitted with windows,[40][41][42] powerful thrusters, a strong tail, numerous long-range sensors, and powerful cutting lasers.[43]

TriviaEdit

  • Azazel refers to a fallen Angel said to have told mankind how to create weaponry - fitting, given Defiant's connection to it as a disgraced hero and tinker.

KulshedraEdit

Kulshedra is a demonic dragon from Albanian folklore that requires human sacrifices.

Dragon craft used for prisoner transport, destroyed by Bambina and Contessa during a prisoner transfer in Las Vegas.

PendragonEdit

Pendragon means "dragon's head" in Welsh, it is a title of Uther from Arthurian legends.

A mechanized dragon painted in black and green, glossy, with gold framing the shield at the dragon's forehead, at the ‘wings' and shoulders.[44] Used for combat and transport, usually piloted by Defiant, the ship contained seats and had screens lining the walls. It was "built to take a beating".[45][46] It had lethal force-field generators on the underside, but they took around four minutes to recharge.[46]

The Mark Two served as Defiant's workshop as he worked on Pandora.[37]

TriviaEdit

  • Pendragon roughly translates to "head dragon" or "chief dragon".

UtherEdit

Defiant's craft.[28] Four legged, has "panels of knightly armor".[47] Defiant can control it with his mind at a distance, and get sensory feedback and telepathically create blueprints for new technology while at the controls.[36]

TriviaEdit

  • Uther shares the etymology of Pendragon.

DragonflyEdit

A vehicle dedicated to ferrying Weaver around, once D&D decided that she is safe enough to be left without convoys.

TriviaEdit

  • Dragonfly is an obvious pun based on thematic crossover.

TiamatEdit

Used as a vehicle by Defiant, never described in detail.[48]

TriviaEdit

  • Tiamat is a Babylonian goddess, mother of monsters (including the first dragons) and said to have become a dragon herself in battle. Possibly a D&D reference.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Dragon created her first suits using money she received for acting as a hacker for the PRT.[16]

At some point, the Dragonslayers stole three Dragon suits by exploiting Dragon's nature as an AI. Humiliated, she only reported that she had lost one. She began using biological computers in her later suits in an attempt to prevent a repetition of this theft.[16] Despite her efforts, the mercenaries later acquired the remains of a Pythios model.[49]

Sent a suit into the Battle against Leviathan.

Post-Slaughterhouse NineEdit

Dragon had not created any new designs in the four years prior to the Monarch arc, only updated old ones.[50]

The TimeskipEdit

The Dragonflights numbers swelled.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Dragonflight isn't fought off for good this time, and virtually every Dragon-mech is backed by 1-2 capes who'd be a hard fight for the whole Undersiders team on a good day. - Comment by Wildbow on Reddit.
  2. The arcs I’m least happy with coincide with holidays/family events. Arc 10? Written when I traveled to Winnipeg around the birth of my nephew. The awkward Dragonflight part of arc 16? Written around the Christmas holidays of 2012. - An End to the Twig Experiment
  3. You're up against the Undersiders.
    Or the Dragon Flight, or the Triumvirate. Big encounters that are less about winning and more about surviving. - Wildbow on Reddit
  4. She was trying to distract me so the others could act, or buying the Dragon suits time to arrive. - Monarch 16.2
  5. One Dragon suit was unleashing what looked like a freeze ray at the Endbringer, while another of the Dragon suits was turning a laser on the ground beneath Behemoth's broad feet. - Drone 23.5
  6. I hurried to cross the area between the three Dragon-suits, Grue joining me halfway. - Monarch 16.2
  7. Dragon Suits: Continued Escalation of Cape Militarization? - Interlude 22.x
  8. The Dragon craft that had been deployed against the Nine shifted to a basic piloting mode, then landed, bringing their passengers and pilots with them. The sub-intelligences shut down, and the craft were effectively grounded. More screens went dark. [...] He could see her directing the A.I. craft to more optimal locations, the related subroutines and tasks. - Interlude 26.x
  9. I followed as she led me to her hovering Dragon-craft, Mr. Calle a step behind me. - Cell 22.6
  10. I could hear the cumulative thrum of the twenty-seven Dragon-craft's propulsion systems operating in unison. My bugs could track them all, the late arrivals included. - Sting 26.2
  11. Seventeen Dragon-craft deployed from the hangar. Again, not combat models, but utility models, fast response and rescue. Craft she'd been holding in reserve, no doubt because the cost of deploying them outweighed their potential benefit against Scion. - Speck 30.4
  12. The other dragon suits had the general stylings of dragons, with claws, armor plating that resembled scales and heads or faces that resembled a reptile. In the end, though, they were still machines, and the theme was just that. A theme. - Monarch 16.5
  13. Dragon suit silhouette in the background, wings echoing the wings of the PRT logo over their heads. - Wildbow on IRC, archived at Spacebattles
  14. Dragon ejected, skidded to a stop eighty feet away, a smaller suit of armor with thin arms and legs, each tapering down to points. The suit Dragon had left behind glowed red, orange, white, then exploded violently around Leviathan, as though every crevice had been packed with high explosives. Leviathan reeled, lashed his tail, and then lunged back toward the gathered capes. He was intercepted by three flying capes this time, who harried him with superstrength and the case of one hero, an oversized battle axe.
    Dragon enters battle with suit packed with explosives, risky, current suit has insufficient room for arms and legs: Suit unmanned.
    Remotely controlled? Tattletale raised an eyebrow. - Interlude 8.y
  15. 15.0 15.1 Parasite 10.5
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 She had done what she could on her own. She had repurposed herself as a superhero, had managed and tracked information and served as a hacker for the PRT in exchange for funding. With that money, she had expanded her capabilities. She had built her first suits, researched, tested and created new technologies to sell to the PRT, and had quickly earned her place in the Guild.

    It hadn't all been smooth sailing. Saint, the head of the group that would become known as the Dragonslayers, had somehow discovered what she was and had used her rules and limitations against her. A Black Hat Hacker, he had forced situations where she was obligated to scrub her data and restore a backup, had cut off signals between her agent systems and the satellites, and in the end, he had carted away three of her armored units on three separate occasions. Dismantling the suits and reverse engineering the technology, he'd outfitted his band with special suits of their own.

    She had been so humiliated that she had only reported the loss of one of the units.

    They had violated her.

    Her current agent systems were an attempt to prevent repetitions of those scenarios. Biological computers, vat grown with oversized brains shaped to store and interpret the necessary data, they allowed more of her systems and recollection to be copied over than a computer ten times the size. They felt no pain, they had no more personality than sea cucumbers, but it was still something she suspected she should keep under wraps. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.5
  17. “They must have put millions into manufacturing this. That was supposed to stop the Nine, and It was powerful enough that it might have, if it’d had Dragon’s brain backing it up.”
    “They can build more,” Grue said. - Excerpt from Monarch 16.5
  18. 18.0 18.1 “Suits leaving the city, satellite phones are working. Few factors at play, there. I got word back from the Dragonslayers. Paid them a few million bucks to tell me how they keep getting the upper hand on Dragon, tell me how she’s relaying commands to her suits. With that, I had some squads plant C-4 and knock down cell towers. That slowed her down, cut her bandwidth, so to speak, and limited her ability to reprogram them on the fly. I’m guessing you guys took out one or more suits?”
    “Three,” Bitch said.
    “Two or three,” I clarified.
    “That cost the Protectorate a good chunk of cash, and it’s detracting from Dragon’s primary mission, which is the Nine. My guess is she’s zeroing in on them. Better to have a few suits closer to where she thinks they are than to leave them here in the city for you guys to keep breaking. So she thinks, anyways, and the bigwigs that are footing the bill seem to agree.” - Excerpt from Monarch 16.5
  19. It’s a question of resources.
    Keeping the suits active and scanning the countryside gets expensive as they start accruing fuel costs, some of which may be rarer and more expensive.
    As is, they’re stationed around the city in sleep mode (See the Pythios/Wheel Dragon as they approach), and only active for thirty minutes at a time.
    As for why the suits aren’t going after bigger/badder villains? The Undersider-Traveler alliance is fairly easy to find, and they’re in a city that’s the subject of national attention. - Wildbow on Monarch 16.2
  20. Solvents aren't included with the tanks - only specialized trucks & Dragon suits have them. If they were freely available or part of the standard sprayer setup they'd be too easy to co-opt or steal. - Wildbow on Reddit
  21. http://www.wyrm.org.uk/ukdracs/cawthorne.html
  22. Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters
  23. To Dragon, it was as if no time had passed from the moment she deployed the Cawthorne rapid response unit and the moment she found herself back in her laboratory. - Interlude 10.5
  24. Interlude 10.5
  25. 25.0 25.1 Parasite 10.4
  26. Interlude 8.y
  27. Extermination 8.3
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Interlude 15
  29. 29.0 29.1 Monarch 16.2
  30. “I can send them in, I can tell them where to go or when to stand by, but they do what they’re programmed to, and they’re programmed to avoid attacking civilians and local heroes.”

    “That didn’t stop the foam-spraying-” Regent started.

    “The Cawthorne model,” the Director interrupted.

    “Sure. That didn’t stop the Cawthorne thing from shooting Trickster when he had Kid Win hostage.”

    “I expect Dragon accounted for the fact that you might take hostages and use the nonlethality restrictions of the A.I. against it. She would have given the machines tools or strategies to work around it.” - Monarch 16.3
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Monarch 16.1
  32. The first of the reinforcements arrived. I recognized it as the suit that had been deployed against Leviathan. The same one that had gone after Tattletale, unless she had more than one. This one had the foam sprayer. - Monarch 16.2
  33. Tattletale replied. “She was piloting an updated version on the thing she used against Leviathan. Spewed containment foam everywhere. My guys hammered it with rocket launchers and bought me time to run. Maybe lost half my squad, depending on how things went. Only Minor and Brooks have returned so far.” - excerpt from Monarch 16.1
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 Monarch 16.3
  35. 35.0 35.1 Monarch 16.4
  36. 36.0 36.1 Interlude 16.y
  37. 37.0 37.1 Teneral e.3
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Monarch 16.5
  39. Dobrynja approached from the other end of the office. He was wearing his armor. He'd started out with the Wyvern suit, but now wore the Wyrmiston suit. It was based on the technology they'd recovered from a destroyed model, the one Dragon called Pythios. A wheel slowly rotated on his back. - Interlude 26.x
  40. Extinction 27.4
  41. Cockroaches 28.4
  42. Sting 26.2
  43. 26.x (Donation Interlude; Saint)
  44. Cell 22.5
  45. Cockroaches 28.4
  46. 46.0 46.1 Sting 26.6
  47. Chrysalis 20.5
  48. Interlude 24.y
  49. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named 26b1e1
  50. "The Azazel. Note that there's no version number. It's a fresh design, crafted to go up against the Nine and put up a serious fight. The first truly original suit she's made in four years, and I assure you that Dragon has advanced her skills in that timeframe. If that isn't enough of a pedigree, the Azazel was created by Dragon working in tandem with her new partner, a fellow tinker." - Monarch 16.13