Shards of Alexander
For the most part, the Darkness has attacked Alexander directly from space, taking on the appearance of swarms of burning black creatures with bright piercing eyes and rending claws. These attacks usually occur as close combat encounters, making ranged attacks with fighter ships prohibitive. This has, in turn, motivated the creation of Frames: large mobile exoskeletons specifically designed to engage in short range melee combat or medium range skirmishes.
Frames are specifically designed for function before form. They stand approximately 20 m tall, with the pilot cockpit in the chest. Their shape is as a boxy, somewhat bulky humanoid, making them ideal for a wide variety of engagements and purposes (including construction and maintenance of the hull). The standard deployment ordinance for a combat frame are a pair of fore-arm mounted, eight inch 55 caliber automatic plasma carbines, secured and stabilized at the waist of the frame. These are meant to engage the darkness as it approaches for the inevitable melee.
Once the enemy is within 100 m, standard combat doctrine calls for the ejection of both carbines (to be retrieved later), and for the deployment power Yari (straight bladed spears). These yari are initially mounted on the back of the frame and have an initial length of 15 m. When deployed, the yari telescope to 30 m and the tip vents a high density oxygen plasma from the blade (increasing it’s piercing ability and giving the spear a blue glow). This choice of melee instrument was chosen because Alexander frames lack the dexterity for anything requiring real finesse.
Should the yari be lost or destroyed, every frame has a plasma combat knife mounted in the wrist of the left arm. If this is deployed it usually means the frame is about to be destroyed.