|Country of Origin||Brazil|
|Launch Date||December 25th, 2018|
|Fighting Style||Krav Maga Adept|
|Top Speed||30 knots/70 mph|
|Energy Core||ZP42 Pinch Fusion Reactor|
Prime Meridian was a Mark-4 Jaeger war machine built as part of the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps' Jaeger Program, funded as a joint enterprise by the United States and Brazil. The last Mark-4 produced, launching on Christmas Day, 2018, the Prime Meridian was stationed in the Panama City Shatterdome as the lead Jaeger of Strike Group Panama. Through six years of operation, Prime Meridian was involved in seven Kaiju kills and accounted for five of them itself, making its pilots, Rangers Kaalyn Daniels and Blake Merino, Jaeger aces.
The Panama division played a critical role in denying Kaiju access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Panama Canal, and providing assistance for Shatterdomes in Los Angeles to the north and Lima, Peru to the south. Though heavily damaged in a battle with Scourge in 2024, the Jaeger was taken to drydock in Seattle, Washington for repairs and thus was absent during the final battle in Hong Kong. With the Kaiju War over, Prime Meridian's repairs were completed and it was disarmed, moved to the Hong Kong Shatterdome to become a museum display and kept in working order for occasional demonstrations.
The Meridian's primary weapon is a particle beam rifle designated the "Equalizer" or "Big E" as shorthand for operators. Taking the form of a retractable cannon built into the Jaeger's left forearm, the Equalizer's ammunition comes in the form of ionized hydrogen gas stored in pressurized tanks protected within the upper arm. When activated, this fuel is fed through a high-powered particle accelerator that propels the negatively-charged hydrogen atoms at near-lightspeed. The result is a continuous directed energy beam that can burn through the toughest Kaiju hide, the sheer friction of such fast-moving particles instantly cauterizing the wounds it inflicts. The beam is colorized laser-red to assist pilot awareness of the weapon's firing line.
Discouraging attacks on the sensitive beam weapon is the Mark-2 "Tonfa" bayonet, a blade running the outer length of the Jaeger's forearm. The melee weapon is composed of reinforced titanium alloy, and contains cooling lasers which condense its separate edge into a Bose-Einstein condensate—a substance so cold that when it comes into contact with other matter, so much energy is transferred at once that the target snap-freezes. The blade able to be rotated out to increase its reach, the blade extending beyond the arm rather than along it, allowing its pilots more versatility in combat.
To supplement its ranged capability, the Prime Meridian also packs three shoulder-mounted Anti-Kaiju Missile tubes capable of firing a variety of ordnance. Usually, these are the lethal K-Stunner warheads, capable of dispatching smaller Kaiju with a single hit on-target. However, since the ambient radiation Kaiju naturally give off can interfere with guided missile targeting, these are usually preceded by a round of neutralization gas mortars, which flood the air with radiation-absorbent materials that can more easily be disposed of by HAZMAT teams later. Also in the AKM launcher's arsenal are unguided "dummy" rockets which require Rangers to aim manually, but have the benefit of being able to fire quickly without regard for radioactive interference.
Housed within the Jaeger's right wrist when it can easily trade places with its hand is the XIW-M Cutting Torch, informally nicknamed the "Facemelter." Similar in appearance to a jet engine, the Cutting Torch is a close combat tool which functions like a welding torch, producing a teardrop-shaped flame hot enough to disintegrate solid steel and burn through Kaiju flesh like, as Marshall Jared "Jaegermeister" Padok aptly put it, "a hot knife through butter." The Cutting Torch functions as more than a weapon, being used once to weld scrap metal to the frame of a bridge as an emergency brace during a Kaiju attack.
A Jaeger's complex mechanical systems can easily fail when faced with the damage a rampaging Kaiju can inflict. So to protect it, the Prime Meridian is covered from footpad to conn pod in four inches of titanium-aluminum alloy armor, able to withstand the most forceful of impacts. Though the incredible weight does have a hindering effect on its speed, this covering takes the form of many large, independent plates which do not interfere with the Jaeger's agility. These plates are overlaid with a coating of water-sealing paint that protects them from corrosion in their frequent exposure to salt water.
Beneath the outer plating is a layer of malleable, water-tight synthetic which isolates the mechanical systems of the Prime Meridian's hydraulic muscle structure. This watertight "diving suit" also serves as a conductor, drawing out the systems' excess heat and dispersing it into the cold ocean water. In addition to these measures, the Jaeger's design allows for a detachable buckler shield to be added on its right forearm, which can be brought in during battle by helicopter to abruptly change Prime Meridian's fighting style and take Kaiju by surprise.
Prime Meridian's strongest point is its control pod, which its sponsor countries put extra effort into creating for the protection of the pilots. Its design is recognizable by the three armor plates lining a tri-spoked window that form the Jaeger's visage. Each plate is reinforced by a complex honeycomb of titanium supports that brace against the vast forces of impact between Jaeger and Kaiju, and the window is interlaced with a hexagonal-shaped weave of industrial diamond to harden it. Diamond's high thermal conductivity also allows the Conn Pod to have its own separate cooling system, the visor acting as a heat sink which then releases excess energy into the air. The cost of the window alone was in excess of six million US dollars.
Inside the pod, hologram Heads-Up Displays allow a wide array of information to be presented for the pilots, who are locked into hydraulic armatures on each limb and a neural port on the back of their suits' necks. In conjunction with their drivesuits, this hardware forms the physical basis necessary to support a pons bridge, mentally linking the pilots to their Jaeger and to one another. Using Dr. Caitlin Lightcap's perfected design, the bridge allows for responsive and precise control of the powerful battle machine.
In case of mission failure, Prime Meridian sports two "Skipping Stone" escape pods, each of which is water-sealed and equipped with a parachute for the rough conditions under which an evacuation would take place. To access them, neither pilot needs to take time to detach from their armatures, which instead deliver them directly to the escape pods once the order is given. While inactive, the Conn Pod is stored in the spire atop the Panama City Shatterdome, continually ready for deployment. Thanks to Ranger Merino's background as a firefighter, he and his copilot have drilled to streamline their deployment routine, making them the fastest-mobilizing Jaeger team in the PPDC.
Electronics and Operating SystemsEdit
All of Prime Meridian's internal hardware and software programming were designed and created by a group of "White Hat" hackers from the internet group known as Anonymous, through an agreement with the Brazilian government. At first, the United States had pushed hard to allow their military to design the Jaeger's operating system, but the nation's history of coercion through its military superiority prompted Brazil to find an alternative, a right granted by the terms of the Jaeger's build contract with the US. The sub-group got in touch with the Brazilian government themselves, and after a demonstration of Anonymous' ability to penetrate the United States' networks, were met in person to contract for the job.
Though the representatives of the United States on the project were strongly opposed to their taking part, the results produced by a group who had such an affinity and understanding of codebreaking were undeniably effective. With an encryption based on randomized characters, its commands were simply impossible to be broken from outside cyberwarfare attacks, making Prime Meridian the most secure Jaeger in the PPDC's arsenal. The team's work also streamlined many of the systems used standard on all Jaegers to make it faster functioning, but with the programming kept secret between the anonymous designers and the highest echelons of Brazilian military and government, they were unable to be reproduced on any subsequent Mark-4 or Mark-5 Jaeger, making Prime Meridian unique.
The 2016 attack on Tokyo by the Kaiju Onibaba brought to light a major drawback of the Jaeger design: in spite of careful radiation shielding, Rangers Stacker Pentecost and Tamsin Sevier had developed terminal cancer from prolonged exposure to the nuclear reactor powering their battle machine. This led the Jaeger Program's Research & Development labs to seek an alternative to nuclear power, the results of which would be completed in time to be incorporated on the Mark-4 line of Jaegers produced in 2018. The solution used in many Jaegers came from breakthroughs in nuclear fusion, replacing traditional nuclear fission reactors, which became commonly known as "digital plasma" technology.
|Prime Meridian's digital power core.|
Prime Meridian is built around the ZP42 Pinch Fusion Reactor, one such digital power source that uses plasma and highly-charged electromagnetic fields to generate energy. Within the reactor, plasma is stimulated by an electrical current and compressed between two stabilizing magnetic fields, where it reaches a density and heat so great that it fuses atoms of deuterium and tritium, two simple hydrogen isotopes, together, which produces the vast amounts of power needed to supply a Jaeger's mechanical and computer systems. Excess power isn't wasted, instead rerouted to a reinforced backpack on Prime Meridian's torso containing a grid of hydrogen fuel cells for use as an emergency power source in extreme cases.
Though digital plasma reactors has become commonplace on the Mark-4 and one Mark-5 Jaegers, the technology has a high risk of overheating if not carefully maintained. A failure of the magnetic fields containing the plasma would leave the fuel to expand rapidly in an explosion that would likely destroy the entire Jaeger. To prevent this, however, Prime Meridian incorporates "Wader" cooling systems in its tower-like legs similar to those of the Mark-3 Gipsy Danger, allowing excess heat to vent harmlessly in the cold ocean water.
|Ranger Merino, clad in Prime Meridian Drivesuit.|
- "I'd have to say Meridian's definitely a she. Kaalyn's mind just melds easier with the controls, and I'm offering feedback, but she's the one calling the shots."
- —Blake Merino in an interview with Naomi Sokolov.
Formerly a member of the Brazilian Navy, Kaalyn Daniels is one of the most capable Rangers to graduate from the Jaeger Academy. Her training marks are excellent, and her classwork demonstrates conceptual understanding of the theories behind the entire program. Readings taken during mental drift suggest Daniels is one of the strongest consistent partners, accounting for an average 64% of commands when engaged in battle. Her prior unarmed combat training with the Israeli Defense Force was the deciding factor for her acceptance into the Academy, and in modifying those combat techniques for Jaeger combat has shown that she is taking full advantage of her potential.
Ranger Blake Merino, though his mental output is much lower than any other Jaeger pilot, functions as the perfect complement to Daniels. More than just another mind for processing space, while Daniels acts, Merino reacts, analyzing and planning, thinking their actions through while she acts on impulse. As the highest-scoring candidate on the classwork side, Merino was matched with Daniels because of his willingness to do the so-called "dirty work," focusing on relatively mundane tasks to allow Daniels the freedom to maximize her natural ability. Having been trained in Judo as a civilian, his martial art techniques meld well with Daniels' Krav Maga, and combined form a flawless defensive style which serves them well against Kaiju attacks.
The style Prime Meridian uses when engaging Kaiju is directly reflective of its pilots, making heavy use of the Krav Maga techniques learned by Ranger Daniels. The art's extremely pragmatic approach to personal defense features many brutally effective counterattacks and throws, an excellent approach for dealing with highly aggressive Kaiju. Also taken into account is the Jaeger's available arsenal, and Prime Meridian's moveset may change to that of a knife fighter if wielding its signature Cutting Torch, or rely more on Merino's police training when fighting with the Tonfa bayonet. Though either may be used when dealing with a Kaiju hand-to-hand, so to speak, the preferred and more efficient option is to keep an enemy at range and put them down with ranged weaponry.
When first engaging, Prime Meridian's particle accelerator will typically be the Jaeger's opening salvo. This weapon has succeeded before in eliminating Kaiju with a single hit, stopping them long before they reach the coastline where they may cause innumerable damage and casualties. It also may be used as a last resort, as an accurate long-range weapon to shoot down a monster that has managed to slip by and has already entered the "miracle mile." Only when outright massive damage is required to stop a Category III or above target are the Anti-Kaiju Missiles unsafetied.
Development and ConstructionEdit
In October, 2018, Brazil nearly withdrew from its alliance with the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps. following the destruction of its first Jaeger, the Mark-3 Storm Witch, on its first deployment in Valparaiso, Chile against the Category-III Kaiju Scourge. The immediate loss of one of the most expensive projects in the country's history caused Brazil to cancel its plans for future battle machines, being not at risk themselves from Kaiju attacks on the east side of South America. With creature emergences on the rise, the PPDC's member countries were desperate to avoid losing a nation with enough wealth to lend them considerable support, and many conferences were held in the following weeks in the interest of convincing Brazil to stay. At last, an agreement was reached between Brazil and the United States for a joint enterprise to construct one more Jaeger with Brazilian funding. The Jaeger would be built in the same Rio de Janiero waterfront facilities as Storm Witch had before by Brazilian labor, with engineering and technical expertise provided by the US and both countries splitting the project's cost. As production plans were agreed upon and finalized, the Jaeger would be given the name Prime Meridian.
The head of Prime Meridian's production would be a man named Guilherme Lopez, a native Brazilian who'd emigrated to the United States and there had assisted on the production of American Jaegers. His oversight allowed construction to run smoothly in every phase, from design to final testing, and promote cooperation between departments. Among his subordinates were Construction Foreman Lucia Rodriguez, who would later join the PPDC to accompany the finished Jaeger as its chief mechanic, weapons designer Bailey Stark, responsible for the widely-used Anti-Kaiju Missile, and Dr. Davis Collins, a former student of Dr. Jasper Schoenfeld responsible for the integration of the Pons System and pilot interface. This build team was so effective that Prime Meridian was built in record time for a Mark-4 Jaeger, taking only two months and completed in time to be launched in Guanabara Bay on Christmas Day, 2018.
After its delivery to the Panama City Shatterdome, known locally as "La Sala de Gigantes," or The Hall of Giants, Rangers Kaalyn Daniels and Blake Merino were given their first introduction to what would become their Jaeger by Chief Mechanic Lopez. For five months, the Rangers would undergo firsthand training in the Gulf of Panama to acclimatize to the real thing after so long spent in simulators. The pair had to get over some initial difficulty bridging with each others minds, as Ranger Merino was loathe to admit his attraction to Kaalyn. After his reluctance nearly destabilized their link during a training patrol, Daniels initiated a one-night stand with Merino to force him to get over his infatuation. Though Merino was somewhat embarrassed about the encounter, they both later used the memory as common ground to link on, greatly increasing their empathy for one another and completing their mental bond.
The team's first combat deployment came on June 5th, 2019, when the Kaiju dubbed Swayback was first identified on the PPDC's Tracking Network. Its target was predicted to be Santiago de Guayaquil, the largest and most-populated city in Ecuador. At just under 800 miles away, the Panama City Shatterdome was called upon to deploy its Jaegers, and it responded with its new Prime Meridian and the Panamanian Mark-2 veteran Puma Real. Transported by squadrons of Chinook Helicopters, both Jaegers arrived before the emergence of the Kaiju, and were deployed ten miles off of the mouth of the Guayas River in anticipation. They didn't have long to wait, as Swayback broke the surface under an hour later, revealing it to be akin to a giant, many-legged eel with six beady white eyes.
|Swayback, the Prime Meridian's first adversary.|
With Swayback snaking towards them in a charge through the high surf, both Jaegers engaged the Category-III contact at once, firing a barrage of Anti-Kaiju Missiles as it closed in. Despite being able to strike targets undersea like torpedoes, Swayback proved agile enough to avoid the missiles and sprang at the smaller Puma Real. Its pilots managed to catch the attack, and struck the Kaiju's vulnerable underbelly with its razor-sharp Panther Claw, the superheated blades cutting and cauterizing deep wounds in a single swipe. Shrieking in pain, Swayback lashed out with its many legs and punched several heavy dents in Puma Real's armor before kicking free, falling back before Prime Meridian could assist with terminating the held enemy.
Recovering from their first clash, Swayback swept forward again, flanking them from the side so one Jaeger couldn't shoot past the other. It chose Prime Meridian as its target, and without a weapon with a high rate-of-fire, Brazil's Jaeger couldn't ready an attack before it entered melee range. Swayback chose to stay underwater, however, and wrapped itself around the Jaeger's legs. While its Rangers managed to keep their footing, Swayback snaked up around them and began to constrict, crushing the Jaeger in its own armor and enduring slashes from the Tonfa Bayonet.
Before Prime Meridian could succumb to the attack, however, Puma Real came to its rescue. Rangers Cortez and Soto again readied their Panther Claw, and in the other arm, their Hailstorm Shotgun. Closing its bladed grip around the snake-like body wrapped around its fellow Jaeger, Puma Real severed the Kaiju's body in half, and as its head reared up, pressed the Hailstorm's barrel to Swayback's head and blew it to pieces. Both halves of Swayback lay dead in the water, oozing toxic Kaiju Blue which would be dealt with by HAZMAT teams in the following days. Though a few mild cases of radiation sickness were reported, no casualties came from Guayaquil as a result of the attack, making Prime Meridian's first deployment a resounding success though it hadn't earned a kill to its name. Both Jaegers would be airlifted back to "La Sala de Gigantes" for repairs.
Panama Canal, 2020Edit
For eight months following its first deployment, Prime Meridian would lie dormant within the Panama Shatterdome awaiting its next mission. In that time, two Kaiju incursions were halted by the Panama Strike Group by its already-veteran Jaegers Puma Real and the American Hydra Corinthian. Though it wasn't a long time to wait by Ranger standards, the Meridian's young pilots began to grow restless, felt all the more because of Ranger Daniels' impatience and emphasis on her high training scores. When they were passed over for the second of these incursions, Daniels protested to the Shatterdome's commander and received a reprimand for it, worsening her already-high sense frustration.
|The Category-III Stalagmite.|
On February 27th, the Pacific Tracking Network picked up a Kaiju headed for what Command thought would be Panama City. Puma Real was deployed, to the disappointment of Prime Meridian's pilots, and stationed ten miles out to meet its opponent. What breached the surface was the Category-III monster Stalagmite, named for the massive rock-like pillars of its arms. To the PPDC's surprise, however, Stalagmite broke off its course for Panama City and instead headed straight towards the entrance to the Panama Canal. With Puma Real unable to keep up with the Kaiju, Prime Meridian was given the green light to deploy and intercept.
Before it could reach the Kaiju, however, Stalagmite reached the Pacific end of the canal and smashed through the Puente de las Americas bridge, reducing one of Panama's greatest landmarks to mangled scrap in an instant. It continued to forge ahead into the Port of Balboa, while without time to waste readying an airlift, Prime Meridian waded behind it attempting to catch up. By the time it did, Stalagmite had crawled over the first lock in the canal, and turning to face its pursuer, the monster broke open the gates and caused a flood of water to wash towards Prime Meridian, knocking it off-balance and causing the Jaeger to lose ground.
Stalagmite moved on heedless of the potential damage it could do to the populated cities surrounding the canal, making its intended goal of reaching the Caribbean obvious. In its charge, the Kaiju stampeded over the container ship Maersk Voyager, breaking the ship apart and leaving it dead in the water, blocking the canal and killing over a hundred people. Upon reaching its wreck, Ranger Merino suggested changing their route to moving overland, cutting corners where the instinctual Kaiju would stay in the winding canal.
Out of the water, the Jaeger was finally able to overtake the Kaiju, and they engaged immediately. Making full use of their relatively low contact with water, Daniels deployed the Meridian's cutting torch and slashed at their opponent, disintegrating a swath of Stalagmite's hide. At first having difficulty with its long arms in close quarters, the Kaiju managed to push away and thrust with one long arm like a battering ram, pile-driving the Jaeger's midsection. The resulting damage slowed Prime Meridian considerably, and instead of pressing its advantage, Stalagmite pulled away and made for the ever-closer Caribbean.
This would prove to be its mistake, however, as though Prime Meridian now stood no chance of catching its target, their clear line of sight allowed Ranger Merino to deploy their Jaeger's primary weapon: the EQL-3 Particle Beam. With one shot, Prime Meridian's laser burned a narrow hole through both of Stalagmite's twin brains, and the Kaiju collapsed within the canal's third and final lock, never making contact with the far ocean that was its target. Fortunately, most of the toxic and radioactive spills made by the Kaiju were contained by the locks of the canal, and the damage to Prime Meridian's mechanical systems would undergo immediate repair upon return to the Panama Shatterdome.
The stage for the Acapulco Encounter was set when in March of 2021, high-ranking military members and political leaders of core countries within the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps. chose to meet in the famous resort city to celebrate the Jaeger Program's success and discuss the future of the PPDC. Some of the military leaders, including Marshall Stacker Pentecost, advised against the brazen choice of location, but political savvy won out, using the choice as a point that public relations could use to show no fear of the Kaiju threat. Little did they know that a first-hand demonstration of the Program's capabilities would take place.
|Tarrasque, one of the first Category IV to emerge.|
Punta Diamante, a hotel in the modernized southern end of Acapulco's beaches, was selected to host the function, and a modest naval battlegroup was assigned to provide security, led by the destroyer USS Baneblade. From its short-range sensors, the first traces of the approaching Kaiju were detected, and word was sent to the Panama Shatterdome to scramble a response. Though an airlift wing of helicopters was assembled to transport Prime Meridian, their arrival was estimated too late to stop the Kaiju, and Baneblade engaged alongside submarines USS Steelhead and Canada's RCN Victoria. At nearly 2800 tons, the Kaiju was much larger than almost any known to that date, and was dubbed "Tarrasque" after the French dragon of legend by the Baneblade's captain. The beast shook off the impacts of torpedoes and depth charges launched at it by the naval vessels, and once it was within reach obliterated the Steelhead with a swipe of its claws.
Though the remaining vessels were forced to break off as the Kaiju swam for shore, they had bought enough time for Prime Meridian to arrive. The Jaeger dropped directly in the massive Kaiju's path, and immediately launched every Anti-Kaiju Missile in its arsenal, a barrage that was enough to stop even a behemoth like Tarrasque. Though bloodied, it refocused on the Jaeger that had come to challenge it, and charged across the bay with a juggernaut combination of speed and mass. The PPDC Rangers remained undaunted, backing up only to a point where the harbor bottom was a bit higher. As soon as the Kaiju neared, Prime Meridian launched itself up and onto the beast's back, driving its Bayonet weapon deep into Tarrasque's hide to create a handhold. With their position atop the thrashing creature secure, Ranger Merino activated their Cutting Torch and drove the superheated tip of its flame home, incinerating one of the Kaiju's twin brains. With their opponent already in its death throes, the Rangers dismounted and extended the Equalizer to burn a hole clean through Tarrasque's second brain, executing the monster and finishing their battle with minimal damage to their Jaeger.
San Salvador, 2021Edit
Gulf of Panama, 2022Edit
Puerto Vallarta, 2024Edit
Panama City, 2024Edit
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ Yeah, it's a W40K reference.