Preface - A Successful Test
"... and I guarantee that all of you will find this weapon to meet or exceed your expectations." Gerald Maginot smiled at the group of prospective clients before continuing with his sales pitch. "Ladies and gentlemen, I submit for your approval - the Tsunami Arms Kali Assault Cannon." He pulled the heavy cloth away from the table, exposing the streamlined weapon to the hungry eyes of his clients for the first time. The weapon was trim and streamlined, its colors composed of muted grays and blacks, the nearly-unbreakable polymer shell accentuated with anti-slip surfaces on the grips. Picking up the weapon, Maginot continued: "The Kali is the product of years of research and feedback from satisfied clients who have used our weapons in actual combat situations. Based upon the successful Shiva Assault Cannon, this weapon is almost five pounds lighter, has far better balance than its predecessor, and features a standard telescopic sight that comes from the factory with a guaranteed zero out to four hundred yards."
Maginot's smile grew wider, knowing that his audience had little interest in the history of the weapon. "But that isn't what you came here for. You want to see just how much ass this piece of high-tech weaponry can kick." Picking up the large clip, Maginot slid it into the butt of the weapon and heard the soft click that indicated one of the huge 22mm rounds had been chambered. He gestured toward the armor-clad dummy that had been set up fifty feet away, the black Coalition hard-shell armor shining in the morning sun. "I give you the average Coalition States infantryman. Decently armored and armed, the infantry soldier usually travels in squads of ten to sixteen, which makes them formidable in groups. However, with one of these weapons, the average infantryman is given the firepower of your average modern-day tank - which means that the Coalition hard-shell - "
Maginot suddenly turned and fired at the armored dummy. The first shot struck the left elbow, tearing off the forearm completely; the second hit high on the chest, leaving a two-inch wide crater smoking in the armor. " - is no longer a serious threat. The Kali makes the odds even. And now, ladies and gentlemen, if you'll gather around me down here, I'd like to show you just how easy it is to use this excellent weapon." The excited murmuring that reached his ears reassured Maginot that this sale would be successful, and his smile resurfaced. It had been a very successful test.
Long before the high-powered energy weapons and rail guns of Rifts Earth, mankind used projectile weapons to fight his wars. The earliest examples of these were nothing more than shrunken cannons, with the black powder propellant lit by a length of burning string. Over the centuries, various advancements came along that turned these literal hand-cannons into portable, efficient killing machines capable of laying waste to large areas. These weapons ruled the battlefield until the twentieth century, when even greater advancements made them almost obsolete - smart bombs and missiles, satellite-mounted lasers and particle beams, and most of all, the development of Mega-Damage material.
But the art of the projectile weapon refused to fade into history. Gun designers strove to develop ways of making traditional weapons effective against Mega-Damage armor by adding explosive charges and superdense penetrators to slugs that traveled at ultra-high speeds, making them as effective as some rail guns. Unfortunately, these advancements came about just when the fabled Golden Age had begun; the weapons were put into storage and rarely used because of the infrequency of conflicts during this time. Few examples of these weapons were built, and almost none survived the Coming of the Rifts. Those that did were buried under tons of rock and debris, possibly lost forever?
Until a man named Hiro Tamura came along.
Born in 68 P.A. in Free Quebec, Tamura joined the Coalition Army at the age of seventeen. He immediately showed an aptitude with maintaining and repairing small arms and earned his commission as a Technical Officer before he reached twenty-one. The first weapon development project he was involved with was the C-14 Fire Breather laser rifle / grenade launcher, and the experience would influence the rest of his life. When the prototype was completed, Tamura moved to new projects like the C-27 plasma cannon and C-40R SAMAS rail gun; his interest, though, remained in the development of small arms for the foot soldier. During this period in his life, Tamura was promoted to Captain and put in charge of weapon development for the entire state of Free Quebec, something that should have been a major milestone in his life. Instead, Tamura was rapidly becoming disillusioned with the racist policies and practices of the army and government he served. Following an incident that resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent D-Bee women and children, Tamura realized that he could no longer serve the Coalition in good conscience. He resigned his commission (although he left on good terms because of his years of outstanding service) and left Free Quebec, traveling through CS Iron Heart in his search for a new career.
It was during this period that past, present and future would collide for Hiro Tamura. Shortly after leaving Iron Heart, Tamura came across a decaying bunker that had been plundered of most prizes long before. Under a layer of dust and debris, however, Tamura found a sturdily built automatic rifle that had been overlooked. Intrigued by the design, Tamura took the weapon with him and soon discovered that the ammunition was easily capable of damage equal to a modern laser rifle. This realization brewed for many months in his mind as he worked to duplicate the weapon and ammunition in his spare time as he worked for the fledgling Iron Heart Armaments. His work in Free Quebec had put him in contact with many other designers now working at IHA in New Kenora, and his drive and expertise served the company well for two years. Tamura was the driving force behind the IH-34 and IH-44 laser weapons, and contributed to every IHA weapon system. Eventually, though, Tamura's desire to create infantry weapons got the better of him and he departed IHA in 98 P.A., bound for parts unknown.
He eventually ended up in Ishpeming, selling his services to the various mercenary companies that frequented the city in order to raise the capital he would need to start his own business. Shortly thereafter, Tamura established a small custom weaponry shop in the industrial district of the city, where he and a small staff would customize weapons for mercenaries and adventurers who wanted more power or greater accuracy from their firearms. Calling the business the Tsunami Arms Custom Shop, Tamura saw his customer base increase from two or three per week to upwards of twenty each day, all in less than a year. Word spread quickly about Tamura's abilities to improve weapon performance, and soon he had a full-time staff of twelve working under him. Even then they struggled to keep up? and the money kept rolling in.
The time had come to build his dream, and Tamura began the process in 102 P.A. After purchasing a small factory and hiring a staff of thirty, he began the painstaking process of building a new arms company from the ground up. The initial catalog was very limited; one pistol, two rifles and one heavy weapon were the only items available. The weapons were each assembled by hand to assure the highest level of quality, and were extensively tested before being sold on the open market.
Tsunami Arms (more commonly known as TSA) products rapidly became popular with those who liked the heft and recoil of real guns rather than nearly silent laser weapons. An added bonus for many was the fact that, quite often, a TSA pistol could be smuggled into sensitive areas because it was thought to be a regular S.D.C. pistol. In a place where nobody was wearing Mega-Damage armor, this weapon could quickly stop a fight. The first year of business showed a substantial profit, and Tamura began hiring additional designers and staff to create new weapons. Each year the Tsunami Arms catalog would feature a new array of high-tech toys, and each year the supply could not keep up with the demand. In order to control costs for the consumer, Tamura created a small chain of outlet stores in 104 P.A. that sold a good number of TSA weapons at standard prices, keeping people from paying up to 150% greater than catalog price on the Black Market. These stores are now in every major city on the continent, including Lazlo, New Lazlo, Mantistique, and even as far south as El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.
Unfortunately, this success has come with a price: the notice of the Coalition States. Over the years of its operation TSA has created many weapons that are capable of seriously damaging most forms of armor, and the CS has not taken that fact lightly. While many weapons were banned by the CS and confiscated, recently the Coalition and Ishpeming governments have requested that TSA stop the manufacture and sale of several weapons, ammunition types and grenades. The company has only partly complied with this by stopping the manufacture of these weapons; the sale of old stocks will continue until they are depleted, with no significant increase in price.
Recently, Tsunami Arms has undergone some major changes. With the purchase of a second factory and additional staff, production is expected to increase by 60% over the next six months, and mass orders from mercenary companies and independent nations will likely be taken at that point. With such success in the past, Hiro Tamura and TSA are assured to continue well into the future - so long as they don't cross the path of the CS too often.
Currently Tsunami Arms has three primary divisions: TSA Manufacturing, the TSA Custom Shop, and TSA Mercenary Services. Tsunami Arms Manufacturing is the division responsible for the design, manufacture and sale of the various TSA weapons, and is currently the most profitable part of the company. Based out of a factory on the south side of Ishpeming and overseen by Hiro Tamura himself, the manufacturing division is a self-contained entity that handles most business through the administration offices in the building. The facility is a Mega-Damage structure (450 M.D.C. for the outer walls) that has been hardened against external attacks by the placement of concrete barricades around the exterior and reinforcing struts within the walls, and its position within the city almost assures the factory's safety. The factory floor is huge, and filled with the great machines that create the weapon components. At one end lies the materials area, where raw metals and polymers are processed into the alloys that compose each weapon. These processed materials are then placed into computer-controlled molding and shaping machines, which make exact copies of whatever component has been analyzed and programmed into them; everything from barrels to firing mechanisms to scope housings are made in this way. After the components cool they are taken to the assembly area, where they are put together by hand to ensure that quality is maintained. Accuracy and functionality are determined at this point; if the weapon malfunctions or the accuracy fails to meet a certain minimum standard, the weapon is disassembled, the problem fixed, and the weapon is tested again. Following this rather lengthy procedure, the completed weapons are packaged in nearly indestructible polymer crates for shipment to one of the many TSA Outlet Stores across North America. A similar procedure is followed for the production of ammunition and grenades, which are constructed on a separate assembly line parallel to the weapons line. After fabrication, each batch of ammunition or grenades is tested for its reliability and, if no problems emerge, is then packaged and shipped off. For those buyers in the Northern Gun area, TSA has created a special testing range beside the main factory to display the effectiveness of TSA products. Surrounded by Mega-Damage walls fifteen feet high and topped with electrified wire, the testing ground offers prospective clients the chance to try out all the weapons and ammunition made by TSA for a small charge.
The TSA outlet stores spread across the land can take many forms, from a huge warehouse in Ishpeming to a tiny shack on the edge of a frontier town. They all have several things in common, though: a commitment to the highest quality service, a friendly staff (even if only one person), and a wide range of TSA weapons. Even the most isolated outlet stores carry most basic pistols and rifles, along with a good range of ammunition and a few heavy weapons as well. If the customer wants something more specialized, the outlet store can order it from Ishpeming and have it within a week to ten days, usually.
The second division is the TSA Custom Shop, located one-quarter of a mile from the factory. Operated by Stefan Engel (formerly Tamura's head assistant and also a former NGR Lieutenant), the Custom Shop still handles significant business for mercs and adventurers. With his staff of fifteen, Engel can customize anywhere from forty to a hundred weapons every week, depending on how complex the modifications are. Services offered include upgrading the damage in energy weapons, increasing the range and accuracy of almost any weapon conceivable, combining two weapons on a single frame (which is a very popular job), reducing recoil and improving the weapon's balance, among others. There is usually a waiting period of anywhere from one to three weeks for these services, but the quality of the components and craftsmanship is of the highest caliber and complaints are few and far between.
The most recently created division is TSA Mercenary Services, a good-sized mercenary company that specializes in urban combat, close-quarters battle situations and covert operations, although they can potentially handle any task. The company is based out of a fortified camp east of Ishpeming, where at least forty percent of the company can be found at any given moment, with the remainder usually divided equally between training maneuvers nearby and assignments. The largest group sent on any assignment is usually limited to a platoon (40 troops); one or two squads (10 to 20 troops), however, best serve most assignments. These men and women are highly trained specialists armed with the latest TSA weaponry and equipment, recruited heavily from former members of the Coalition and Northern Gun armed forces, as well as from other mercenary companies. The leader of TSAMS is Andrew Jolley, formerly a Major in the Northern Gun armed forces and a seasoned mercenary, and under his expert eye TSAMS has acquired an excellent reputation in less than a year.
Hiro Tamura - President of Tsunami Arms
Some call him the father of the modern machine gun; others call him a butcher responsible for killing thousands with his creations. However they see him, though, none can deny that Hiro Tamura is currently one of the more powerful men in the city of Ishpeming. With the introduction of the TSA 'Classic' Line of weapons (styled after Old West firearms), Tsunami Arms has cemented itself as the arms manufacturer to beat in the years to come.
Hiro Tamura was born in Free Quebec in 68 P.A., the only son of Yoshi (a CS RPA Pilot) and Anna (a medical researcher in the CS military). From an early age, Tamura was taught that the Coalition States' view of reality was correct, and that all D-Bees and especially demons should be exterminated. This typical racism was tempered by the fact that he was also highly skilled with machines; as a teenager he spent much of his free time fixing the odd computer or toaster to earn spending money. He excelled in his studies and joined the military a full year early because he tested so well on a technical aptitude exam, and he was immediately placed into the Technical Studies program, where he learned the intricacies of many CS devices, weapons and vehicles. Before he reached the age of twenty-one he had become a full Technical Officer, and was assigned to develop a new infantry weapon, designated the C-14. Tamura was responsible for effectively combining two weapons on the same frame with almost no chance of excess wear on the total package, and his work on the project quickly led him to other important weapon designs.
During this time, though, Tamura spent a good deal of time in the field while troops were testing prototypes of his weapons, and he got a first-hand glimpse at the sheer brutality that the Coalition was capable of. After several of these incidents - the last of which involved the utter destruction of a village filled with D-Bee women and children - he decided that he could no longer serve an army and government that could treat innocent beings in such a way. His departure from the CS was amicable, and after a short stint with Iron Heart Armaments, he eventually made his way to the Northern Gun to continue with his small arms designs.
Joseph Armand - Vice President of Tsunami Arms
If you were to look up the word 'insubordinate' in a Coalition States' dictionary (should such a thing exist at all), there would be the image of Joseph Armand right next to it. Born and raised in Chi-Town, Armand was conscripted into the CS military at eighteen and spent the next six years making his superiors regret that decision. Armand is headstrong, bullying and refuses to compromise on issues he believes in, which include tolerance for benevolent D-Bees. After six years in CS service, the last two spent in Free Quebec under the command of Captain Hiro Tamura, Armand finally became fed up with the military lifestyle and went AWOL, never to return to organized military service.
Like Tamura, Armand had an aptitude with small arms and worked long and hard to develop these abilities. He worked as a technical consultant for Wilk's and Northern Gun Manufacturing before Tamura offered him a designing job at TSA in the spring of 104 P.A., an offer Armand was only too happy to accept. This decision has been beneficial to both sides; recently, TSA introduced the first 'wire rifle', the brain child of Armand, and sales of this effective weapon have already gone through the roof.
Gerald Maginot - Director of Sales
Every company needs someone to move its product from the factory floor into the hands of satisfied customers, and for TSA that someone is Gerald Maginot. A native of Free Quebec, Maginot first met Hiro Tamura when they were both working for Iron Heart Armaments, and their common background was the foundation for their current friendship. Maginot is the quintessential salesman; well-groomed, pleasant, knowledgeable in his field and very enthusiastic in his presentation, he has been selling various weapons and armor for the better part of twenty years.
Morton Le Brun - Director of Security
When security is needed at Tsunami Arms, only one man is called: Morton Le Brun. Formerly a member of the Northern Gun Special Forces, Le Brun is an expert in the field of internal security; he knows both how to maintain it... and how to break right through it. Unlike most other TSA employees, Le Brun has almost no technical expertise outside of security systems and procedures, but he makes up for that fact by being the continent's foremost expert in those specialized fields.
Stefan Engel - Director of the TSA Custom Shop
Currently the head of the TSA Custom Shop, Stefan Engel came to North America as part of an NGR expeditionary force in 99 P.A. Their goal was to observe the military practices of the Coalition from a distance for an extended period and report back their findings to NGR command after several months. The conditions of this task meant that the five-man team had to be almost totally self-sufficient, and each person was extensively trained in small arms maintenance and repair. The mission proceeded as planned for a matter of weeks, until a CS company spotted the small team observing them as they vaporized a small village in Old Kansas. The CS soldiers swarmed the observers' position in minutes, leaving only Engel (who had been scouting close to the CS troops and barely managed to conceal himself underneath one of their vehicles), who is understandably reluctant to contact the CS about clearing up the incident. Engel wandered until he reached Ishpeming and happened to answer an advertisement placed by Hiro Tamura for experienced gunsmiths, and the pair have been working together ever since.
Mikael "Sparrow" Hawke - Director of Research and Development
It has taken thousands of man-hours to bring each TSA weapon from the drawing board to the field, and since the beginning one man has overseen the entire process. Mikael Hawke - better known as Sparrow to the TSA factory crew - is certainly a genius when it comes to small arms design. He designed his first gun when he was twelve, and this weapon soon became one of the most popular on his home world (that of Ninjas and Superspies). Success brought about an offer from the United States government to create top-secret weapons for their special agents. This deal wasn't as good as Hawke had hoped for; instead of action and excitement, he spent a lot of time in labs and reinforced bunkers perfecting weapons. On many occasions, though, he was able to sneak out of the base with teams going on assignment, and it was on one of these excursions that he found himself in deep trouble. His team was ambushed in an ancient Mayan temple and killed; Hawke managed to escape by forcing himself into a tiny passage and crawling until he reached a chamber deep within the temple. In the center of this chamber was an ancient stone arch inscribed with intricate writings and symbols. As he approached the arch, blue energy crackled all around him and he fell unconscious.
When he awoke he was lying bleeding in a field near a circle of stone megaliths. He stumbled to the nearest building he could find and was taken in by the family that lived there. The stories they told him as he recovered from his wounds were as unbelievable as they were astounding - he had apparently come through a tear in time and space, and had been dumped back on Earth some 300 years after the Great Cataclysm. At first Hawke did not believe them, but the truth was not to be denied when he saw his first Xiticix swarm trying to destroy his adopted town. He began learning all he could about modern weapons, sold his services to local townsfolk, and soon moved to Ishpeming to ply his trade. He set up shop in 102 P.A. and enjoyed a fair measure of success before being recruited by Hiro Tamura and Stefan Engel to set up and operate the TSA Manufacturing plant. Since that day he hasn't looked back.
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This page was created on May 15, 2000.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.