The crew compartment in the Crucio Siege Tank, like the Arclite before it, gets hot enough to be uncomfortable. As such, all models come equipped with a set of heavy compressors that regulate the air inside the cabin, taxing the engine in the process. Some veteran tank operators—and a few borderline obsessive rookies—opt to modify the climate control system, buying additional performance with the sweat of their brows
The treads of the Crucio are made out of modular, heavy-duty neosteel plates. Unlike standard tracked vehicles, the Crucio boasts a multi-track configuration with two extra tracks for added stability. Historically, tracked vehicles have a drawback, for the loss of a single tread segment results in immobilization. To prevent this, engineers have added a series of tubes in the chassis and bogies of the tank that pump a fast-drying gel onto the affected area. Said gel replaces lost tread segments, and allows the Crucio to remain operational after suffering damage that would cripple vehicles lacking this technology.
The Crucio’s turret has a dual-mode weapon system. When in tank mode, twin 90mm cannons are the main line of defense, firing powerful blasts—effective against enemy armor. Yet, the true might of this tank lies in its siege mode. On activation, the twin plasma cannons become the dreaded 180mm Shock Cannon. This long-range weapon can fire diverse munitions, like armor-piercing Maelstrom shells, and the new “smart shells,” which reduce friendly fire fatalities by up to 75%. Just the roar of Shock Cannon fire has been known to send the enemies of the Dominion in full retreat.
In siege mode, the Crucio’s main tracks turn outwards and the secondary tracks slide into the hull, while thick hydraulic outriggers—also called legs—deploy from the sides of the tank. Once the legs are locked in, they push against the ground for added stability. The base of the outrigger, known as the pad or foot, is similar to a large claw. It comes with retractable talons that activate on rough terrain, and microscopic weep holes which secrete a rubbery substance for greater grip on metal and pavement. While the system is generally reliable, the legs stick from time to time—a significant Achilles’ heel for this terrifying war machine.