|“||Muramasa... jewel of the Orihara crown... I guess you'll be wanting that, Princess?||”|
Muramasa is the HMV piloted by Kanade Orihara, a member of Axel Erachin's original squad. Once the icon of the House Orihara's dominance and power, it was stolen by Kanade in her escape from her family's manor. While lacking in amenities in terms of combat over long distances and covered in relatively modest plating, it's a deadly fast and efficient machine, capable of closing distances extraordinarily quickly, whilst dodging and weaving with seemingly effortless consistency.
Origins and HistoryEdit
The crown jewel of the House Orihara's legacy, the Muramasa was personally designed, commissioned and piloted by Kanade's father, Hideki Orihara. As with any other Kitsune design, it has no official designation, it's purpose and design mired in as much ceremony and history as it is in it's actual intended effectiveness in battle. It served as much symbolic purpose as it did in combat. Muramasa was easily the largest single expenditure undertaken by the clan, and asserted itself as the face of the Orihara clan. It was the personal HMV of Hideki, first into every battle and ceaselessly returning as the victor. It was to be his legacy, both the mecha and his conquests passed down through each successor to the title of the clan's leader.
To some extent, his wish went granted. Kanade stole it in her escape, knowing that it was easily fast enough to evade the many patrols and guards surrounding the area. Unfortunately, the subsequent chaos in her inexperience with piloting it resulted in the appearance that the estate was actually attacked. This led Hideki to believe that the Kimigata clan had raided it and kidnapped Kanade, sparking a vengeance-fueled genocidal massacre of every town affiliated, represented or otherwise involved with the Kimigata family.
This all became rather irrelevant to Kanade, who had escaped off planet with the Muramasa in tow, heading to the station Alpha Omega where she quickly found herself pigeon-holed into working as a mercenary, to satisfy both the obscenely high upkeep inherent to maintaining an HMV like Muramasa and own cultured lifestyle, and honour-bound from the unexpected rescue from another mercenary.
Involved with Axel Erachin's band of mercenaries on during a heist on the LUNAR train line , Kanade found herself locked in battle with Ray Shishigami and his HMV Hive. Despite a valiant effort, and the death of Rex Ryoken, the fight ended badly for Kanade. And despite surviving the encounter, Muramasa was thoroughly and comprehensively wrecked. For a better part of a year, it underwent a slow process of repair and reclamation, funded by almost all of the money that she had earned for the job.
The two primary weapons of the Muramasa are it's twin high frequency katanas. As implied by the name, the blades resonate at incredibly high frequencies, allowing them to pierce through most kinds of armour plating with very little resistance.
In the event that the Muramasa has somehow been separated from it's main weapons, she has a number of other options for close quarters combat. Because it's design behind the mech does not accommodate the sort of visceral and brutal combat that other mechs like the Lucky Strike are designed for, it comes equipped with twin armblades, which, while not quite as effective at penetrating armour as the high frequency blades are, can be used to blind or cripple a mech that Kanade may be grappling with, and allow her some breathing room. Aside from the arm blades, she has a back-up combat knife. Another more simplistic weapon, although it's monomolecular edge and the ability to put a significant amount more force behind each stab or swing than the arm blades means it's a much more effective auxiliary than the arm blades.
Muramasa is devoid of almost any ranged weaponry, her only option in a fight allowing for some distance between herself and her target being a six shot revolver. Even then, it's never been used for those purposes. It's last resort, a final tool in the mech's arsenal used only in the most desperate of circumstances, and when no other option becomes available.
Special Attributes and EquipmentEdit
The central design principle of the Muramasa is agility. That aspect defines nearly every aspect of the HMV, it's lightweight and limited plating, lithe frame and aerodynamic design all due to it's central focus on speed. But none of those choices reflect so heavily on it's focus on speed as much as the extraordinarily powerful static ion thrusters installed on it's back and in it's feet. At full power, the Muramasa's ion boosters are even capable of exceeding the speed of sound, though it's at that point that navigating and piloting becomes extraordinarily difficult, so it's usually only pushed to a fraction of that capability.
The cockpit is also a peculiar design. It's a slightly cramped windowless sphere with an elevated chair in the center, though it's a peculiarity with a distinct purpose, and that's to solve any issues regarding peripheral view within the HMV. Once activated, a series of cameras installed in the Muramasa read every surrounding angle, piecing it together into a holographic overlay covering the entire sphere. To enter it while it's active would seem as if the pilot's chair and control console were simply floating in thin air.
All the speed that the Muramasa is capable of didn't come without compromises. It's relatively fragile, capable of dealing a vicious hit but not quite able to take one. In many ways, this aspect parallels it's pilot quite handily. It's lightly armoured and any and all armour bracing deemed superfluous is absent entirely.