Over the Top: A Brief History of 21st Century BattleMechs

Craft & Design Maker News
Over the Top: A Brief History of 21st Century BattleMechs
Photo by Zollner Elektronik AG

Welcome to the Inner Sphere Scientific Historical archives. To select a preferred century of interest please … you have selected 21st century: Terra.

The Republic of the Sphere’s scientists have long marveled at the early innovations buried in the remains of Early Spaceflight civilizations. From the onset of classical computational devices to the splitting of the atom, our current research has made discoveries that continue to unravel the many mysteries of pre-FTL cultures. One of our finest examples currently on display could very well be the first BattleMech ever constructed. While previous archives cite the Mackie MSK-6S as the true, original BattleMech, newly discovered ComStar archives suggest that the MegaBots Mark II predates the presumed grandfather of all Mechs by more than 400 years! Tipping the scales at a featherweight of just 6 tons, the Mark II is the prototype that became the standard of 31st century combat.

This ancient marvel precedes many Mech innovations such as compact fusion reactors, energy pulse rifles, or even power armor and instead operates with fossil-fueled engines, steel armor, and compression-based weapons.

Interestingly enough, the Mark II was not an offensive war machine common to Terran battlefronts. Much like the Roman warriors of Antiquity, the Mark II was meant for arena battle, and its ballistic armaments reflected such civilized combat. Using paint-based projectiles to mark its opponents, the MegaBots faced off in amphitheaters across North America to many adoring fans during the late 21st century. Though no match for current BattleMechs, this lumbering 15-foot-tall hulk of steel represents the genesis of technologies that would evolve into the mainstay of modern warfare for over a millennia. It really makes you wonder just what other human achievements have been forever lost to time.

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is a graphic designer for Make: Magazine. His life is defined by three B's: Bikes, Burgers, Battlestar Galactica. Tiny electric car enthusiast and founder of the Power Racing Series. (www.powerracingseries.org)

Also helped start a hackerspace that one time and tricked himself into thinking he didn't write this in the third person.

View more articles by James Tiberius Burke