"Centurion"- HK Series 12 Model 453 Type 900




The M453 was the largest of SKYNET's ground mobile, walker-type runnerpod HK units. After several failed designs for multi-limbed walker combat units, SKYNET reviewed the data and statistics and implemented a new design for both defense and assault.  SKYNET found that four legs allowed for the optimum arrangement for balance, maneuverability, and stability on the move.  The Model 453 was the culmination of all the knowledge gained through field use of the much smaller spider-gun pod.  its advanced "fight by light" fiber optic processor arrays controlled the inherently unstable chassis and allowed very high speeds in all terrain.  By adjusting the angle and pitch of its legs to a constant stream of data input, the M453 was stable enough to fire while moving at full speed.

The M453 was a combination platform, huge and terrifying to the Resistance units, and its first appearance caused great concern among the command elements of the Resistance as it represented yet another new Machine type and design, let alone the largest runnerpod type unit then known. The M453 soon gained the nickname "Centurion" and "Spider-guard."  A central waist unit housed the miniature high efficiency reactor as well as the primary and redundant transmission systems. Locomotion was provided by four unique, reverse designed scramble legs. The 'feet' of these legs could roll inwards, curling up so that the entire unit could 'squat' in place, lowering its overall height and profile by 66%, providing a very stable platform for the FiConSys as well as maintaining a static defensive 'hull down' posture.  Special pits were often provided for Centurion units, allowing them to squat down behind hyperalloy armor plate and plug in to the local defense network while being free to engage any targets in a wide range of fire.   In an instant, the M453 could rise from its crouch and accelerate away across the terrain either engaging a target or moving to a tactically superior position, its servos whining loudly and menacingly.

The trunk / torso of the M453 was based on the arrangement of the M250D, but only in general shape. The head of the unit contained armored sensor housings resistant to explosives and high energy small arms fire. The shoulders of the unit housed heavy remote electric drive weapon mounts with the same degree and speed of traverse that the M250D offered. The exception to the weapon mounts was that the weapon mounts were heavier, able to accept larger and more powerful armaments, some of which were only just developed in the last months of the War.  One notable feature of the M453 was the elevating turret.  This feature allowed the upper torso of the M453 to rise out of the main chassis, to allow the unit to gather extra height, up to a full three meters extra, in order to see over obstacles, or fire over and into ruins or human installations.  The 'stretching of the neck' of the M453 was perhaps almost as unnerving as the rapid, spider-like grace which the huge machine managed to acquire when it was moving.

Standard armament for the M453 consisted of two independently operating General Dynamics Model M105C-2 rapid pulse phased plasma cannons, one mounted port and one mounted starboard, each linked to an auxiliary miniature nuclear reactor for dedicated power. The heavy Model M105C-2 plasma guns were new developments of SKYNET and were the most powerful of the mounted, mobile energy weapons.  Larger weapons had more output but were relegated to fixed positions around core installations.  Each of the M105C-2 units had a throughput range of 500 kilowatts with a practical rate of fire of 600 pulses per minute. Payload, feeding from the reactor waste, was for all practical purposes, infinite. The M105C-2 was superior in performance to anything that the Resistance could field, easily defeating anything that the Resistance deployed that was considered 'armored' by SKYNET. The M105C-2 units were used primarily in an anti-vehicle role but several instances exist on record of Resistance units trying to hide behind buildings or small hills and gullies only to find the ravenous power of the M105C-2 units easily able to pierce the cover and eliminate the units hiding within or behind.

In the same weapon mount, the M453 unit also mounted a pair of standard, reactor fed, very rapid fire General Dynamics Model 25D3 phased plasma guns, the standard unit found on the A4 units and the M250D units. The M25D3 had a throughput range of 250 kilowatts with a practical rate of fire of 200 pulses per minute. Payload, feeding from the reactor waste, was for all practical tactical purposes, infinite but required periodic refueling and maintenance. These weapons were used for anti-personnel work as well as lightly armed targets and close in defense of the unit.  The higher rate of fire gave the smaller guns an advantage in engagement and pulse spread over the heavier weapons.

The M453 was the most expensive (material and time wise) of the units that SKYNET ever built, the exception being the T1000 series of advanced prototype Terminator.  Towering above even the M250D units, the M453 was feared by the Resistance units. In most assaults on bases guarded by M453 units, the brunt of the assault was first directed against activated M453 units and the attacks against the installations was not commenced until the last M453 unit had been destroyed.

The M453 possessed the same electronics as the Series 1200 Scout, but unlike the T300 unit, the M453 possessed a precision autonomous unit and also a backup, redundant logic array. It could not be lured into traps easily like the T300, nor could it be decoyed away from its position. M453s were capable of controlling other units, including A4 aerial units, M250s heavy assault units, and even T600 and T800 units. Each M453 also had a dedicated Series 1200 Scout assigned to it to act as a forward observer. In most respects, the M453 was SKYNET's version of a 'supervisor'. It coordinated other units in defense while it engaged the enemy directly as well.

The M453 was very heavily armored. SKYNET could have armored two M250s for the armor that was fitted to the M453s microprocessor controlled hyperalloy combat chassis. Nothing short of dedicated anti-tank or concentrated high energy heavy crew served weapons fire could breach the M453's armor. Inside the M453, triple redundant systems were installed as well as limited self-repair routines. SKYNET fielded a total of five hundred and sixty-eight M453 units before the Cheyenne Mountain complex was taken off-line in 2029.  When SKYNET went off-line, the autonomous protocols of the M453s switched over and began operating independently.  All read-only memory became volatile when communication with SKYNET ceased.  These rogue units could actively take up command of other non- and semi-autonomous units, using them as local assets.  The result of this switch in programming was that after SKYNET was destroyed, its creations were granted free-will and took on a mind of their own, it was SKYNET's version of Pandora's box, a last roll of the dice.  These rogue units had to be dealt with by the victorious Resistance units, already weakened from the Colorado and Los Angeles campaigns.  The result was an unforeseen, long, tedious, painful, and costly after war campaign that made the previous victory a bitter pill to swallow for many in the Resistance.

Two members of the Resistance face a SKYNET Centurion with little question to the outcome.