Shields were at one point thought to be a pure impossibility. As the weapons race during and immediately after the AI Wars showed, defensive technology was lagging far behind weaponry to a very unhealthy extreme. For the first time it seemed that body armor would not even be enough to stop the smallest plasma weapon and this was very much the case for nearly 200 years. Railguns were now at the point that they could pierce through any plate armor as well. Even laser weapons had the ability to kill with little effort. It became recognized that there would need to be a defense against each weapon variation. Development began across the different corporations to create shielding that would be effective against kinetic (conventional and railgun), thermal energy (plasma), and optical (laser) weaponry.

Plasma Shields

Finally, in the year 317 TSC a working prototype of a plasma shield generator was made that could be worn on the body of someone with a power assist suit. It was bulky and quite power intensive when active but a soldier could now sustain several direct hits from plasma weaponry before the shielding would collapse and need to be recharged. The system works by use of plasma vents located around a uniform that activate the instant of any impact and act to negate the damage of plasma weapons. There is some limited affect on other weapon systems as well, though not by any great margin.

Against Conventional: very low
Against Plasma: high
Against Optical: medium
Against Railgun: very low
Against Particle: medium

Electromagnetic Shielding

Developed at the same time as plasma shields, EM shields offer a much more rounded level of defense against the different types of weapons. In place of plasma vents, small coils of superconductor are embedded around the suit as well as a series of sensors that instantly detect incoming fire. A pulse is sent to individual coils from a power assembly worn on the back but as with all shields it is a rather heavy drain that cannot be sustained for long. Because of the magnetic nature of railgun rounds, the EM shield is one of the few defenses against them worth using.

Against Conventional: none
Against Plasma: very high
Against Optical: none
Against Railgun: medium
Against Particle: very high

Active Matrix Shielding

It would be nearly half of a millennium before another advancement was made. In 804 TSC a discovery was made that allowed for a very small and compact laser to be developed through the use of specially arranged superconductors around a lasing element. The major issue was that there was no way of creating a beam that would only have a focus at a distance of roughly 5cm from the device. An idea was put forward to use it as a defensive system and through the use of similar sensors to what EM shields had been using a setup was created that would be able to fire the lasers around a person's body to intercept incoming projectiles. For plasma weapons they were even capable of detonating a round before direct impact, saving a soldier from some of the damage, however it offered no defense against optical weapons.

Against Conventional: very high
Against Plasma: medium
Against Optical: none
Against Railgun: high
Against Particle: none

Hybrid Shielding

Eventually, the different variations of shields would be combined into a single package that would be worn across the entire body to have a some level of defense against the different weaponry it would be facing. While hybrid shields can defend against everything to some degree, they do not defend against anything perfectly which is a major weakness if an enemy is using one type of weapon which will cause individual systems in the shield to fail much faster.

Against Conventional: medium
Against Plasma: high
Against Optical: medium
Against Railgun: medium
Against Particle: low

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