A person invents a new livesuit that is damn near like a miniature shuttle. The prototypes were being shipped for full testing when an unexpected obstacle hits the old clunker of a ship with very few working lifepods. Good thing that the 15 prototypes were there, and actually worked. -- Anon Guest
Livesuits, as the name might suggest, are suits that help the wearer live. Most are made for emergencies and it's generally a good idea to have one on or otherwise at the ready during uncertain circumstances.
The average livesuit is expected to protect the wearer from unexpected decompression, hazardous gasses, liquids, and solids at certain velocities. They are not expected to protect the wearer from things like atmospheric re-entry or non-standard high-impact braking procedures with planetary surfaces. They are meant to keep the occupant alive for the space of time necessary for anyone else to come up with a better plan.
These livesuits were the better plan. They were more or less one-person lifepods with mecha overtones. The pilot inside could fly it for short distances, use waldoes to make it walk, manipulate objects, and otherwise act like every teenaged robot enthusiast's fantasy.
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