Continuing with the armory sketches: Next we move to the human armor. The humans in the unit will have some differences between their armor designs, to suit their personalities, but for the most part the variations will be minor. The armor is basically unisex and the customizations allow for different body types. All armor worn by all beings in the unit is a light and resilient material – armor is usually referred to as “Battle Composites”. The battle composites have adaptive pigmentation that can acquire any color, allowing for the wearer to remain camouflaged in any environment.
The image above shows Sarine: An important, though not main character at this point. Her first appearance is in chapter two (already written). Sarine is a veteran of the Proxima-Aggregate war. Level headed and wise, Sarine is looked up to by others and is, by far, the oldest being in the unit. In Free Drove, humans do not age externally, so you can’t really tell how old a person is by looking at them. But Sarine has chosen, as a lifestyle choice, to allow her body to age. As a result, her external appearance reflects a fraction of her age and sets her apart from most of her fellow humans.
A note on the design and aging
The lack of aging is a source of internal conflict for me. On the one hand, I truly see aging as a technicality. It is probably a trait that favors species as a whole from an evolutionary perspective, but there’s nothing inherently necessary about aging, from a physics perspective. I am certain that technology will allow us to eventually do away with it completely, if desired.
On the other hand, I do enjoy depicting characters at different stages of humans’ natural life. I think TV and movies often neglect older characters and the beauty of the aged human form. It’s something that I do want to represent in my story…
This means that if there are any people who have an aged appearance in Free Drove they have to choose it. This makes an aged look more cosmetic than anything, which I kind of like. Isn’t it funny? All the generations of people struggling for eons with mortality, the existential dread, the pining for lost youth. What a terrific irony: Now that all people have everlasting youth, an aged appearance is used as a mere article of clothing.