Clipclick ballpoints, Red pilot pen, white gelpen, Colorbok tan smooth cardstock
Previous interpretations of this character:fav.me/d6n5jsmfav.me/dciktc2
Reusing and modifying the Starlace idea a bit, since I'm not happy with unintended implications with the original design. I've immediately removed the pink wig and given a red bandana instead. Visually, the back-tie can make it take the function of the hair in a few ways. Trying to get rid of the appearance of being an easily manipulated child and more towards a very curious yet nosy creature that probably has a bit of Agent 007 fantasy seeped into their idea of what the defense training is even for. But I suppose in itself is an issue. If I want them to not be seen as a child, a bit more maturity and understanding on their part would help, but risk weakening their role as a source for stories. After all, if all the training is going well and fine, then it's just a lot of dull repetition not meriting storytelling, right?
I fancy the idea of using these balloon-esque orbs and "shells" as combined flexible force-feedback tools and pressure-sensitive feedback devices. This also plays well with the idea of having creatures with bodies that depend as much on gas as we do on water. And we already have real life balloons as input devices and other pressure-based input devices www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-gUm…
Also, using enclosed clear domes for this counterpart to VR training. Maybe the environment around them from the inside is a lot more convincing of real space. Or maybe there's no trickery at all.
There are some obvious issues here I'm not sure how to address.
First is that I don't know the first thing about the military and aren't particularly interested in the topic. Creating a fictionalized model inspired by cartoon critters doing their best to form their own idea of a defensive force is just going to turn wacky here and there anyway. My best bet may simply be to avoid detailing the specifics whenever possible or find someone I trust to consult with for that kind of thinking.
Second, is that obviously that kind of flexible device is going to wear down quickly. Self-healing materials could probably help with that to some degree, but even if it gets to the level of recovering well from gashes and cuts, it'd be nonsensical to use for training instead of just having a group of people go through the ropes together in person simply because of cost.
well, unless polymers and the like get really cheap really soon.
One that's more immediate though to those using modern VS is that none of these input devices or display devices are showing connected cables of any kind, not to another computer or to any power source. So we assume they must have batteries, which implies a need to charge. And then to adjust their shape they'll need either traditional physical machines to manipulate it based on input signals, or some kind of chemical machine. Putting pumps inside of it wouldn't make much sense as it would only move the contents already inside, not adding more.
Anyway the point is I want these fellows to have an item management gear included with the default bodysuit that shuffles through 6 sets and can expand/activate them based on their stance. Common natural stances for running, leaping, or catching and pinning prey would lead to a lot of unintended activations, so probably something weird like a mouth tab safety, or bringing the forelimbs to chest.
"Shells" in this case are again orbs and small computers in their own right, adjusted and configured to either contain specific items or processes. At a basic level an empty shell can be thrown or fired as a projectile. On its own, it wouldn't be much more dangerous than a briskly thrown pillow. As a weapon, simply adding painful objects or increased weight is a natural change. Or another take is take an already very small object, compress a shell around that, and fire the small bearing for some piercing effect.
Bored students and civilians are more likely to see the shells primarily as an organization tool and low cost container.
Shells can contain other shells inside, typically up to 6. And each of those shells can in turn contain up to 6 shells inside, and so on. However, the energy cost to keep compressing and compressing into a sensible size grows exponentially, quickly making the value of using them in such a way moot.
All in all, this is probably still more much firmly towards the land of fantasy than any kind of true speculative technology.