In a setting where there are multiple different species of aliens (alongside humans), humanity was forced to quickly adapt to aliens and invented various war machines.

Among them are several types of space-capable powered armor, intended to be used during the rare infantry battles (that is: when people are NOT lobbing rocks on each other planets and want to conquer them instead).

I imagined several different armor shapes, for various tasks, one of the shapes is kinda insect-like, with a big rear like a Wasp, Bee or Ant. I thought it would look cool but I can't think of any good reason to make armor in that shape when the occupant is human.

Anyone here has any idea why someone would want to make armor like that?

EDIT: I will add some constraints to the question to avoid it being a "infinite list of things".

  1. The setting in question is based on a short story I read once, where warfare was based more or less if the aliens were carnivore, herbivore, etc... One relevant thing to potential camouflage here, is that humans are currently trying to hide the fact they are predators, because the biggest group of hostile aliens are herbivores that will attempt to wipe out of the universe any space-faring space species that are predators and thus would want to eat them.

  2. The humans are allied during this point of the story with only one species, that is a sponge. The sponge are giving technology to humans, this result in a lot of weirdness (for example sponge has no hands so they don't have the concept of interfaces with buttons or handles).

  3. These suits cover the whole body and are armoured, but are lighter than the typical "mecha" styled suits that also exist, but are heavier than light infantry that uses normal "modern" military gear (those are obviously intended for planets with compatible atmosphere.)

Things that I am imagining that affect suit design is combat capacity, stealth/information warfare capacity, recon capacity and life support.

Real world insects have several "life support" organs in their rear (for example whatever they use to breath), but I don't see a reason to have those in the rear instead of having them in a backpack.

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    $\begingroup$ Well... you're asking us to rationalize an aesthetic. Ammunition storage? Food and water? Battery pack? Please keep in mind that right now you're asking an off-topic infinite list of things. We need to convert it to an on-topic finite list of things by adding conditions, restrictions, and expectations. As written, suggesting a rumble seat would be a legitimate - but useless - answer. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 27, 2022 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I can appreciate your edit, but it didn't fix the problem. If humans had a bunch of tech dumped on them the first thing they'd do is take it apart, figure out how it works, then put it together again in a way that benefits humans. The idea that they'd be forced to wear armor that doesn't fit their physiology kinda doesn't jive with how we humans think. So, avoid telling us the story-based issues (which are irrelevant) and focus on world rule issues. What are you trying to achieve? (Other than simply trying to rationalize "something cool" in your world.) $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 27, 2022 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ The biggest issue here seems to be a matter of "form over function". The insect abdomen piece may seem cool, but in insects it's acting as a part of their body, housing important organs such as part of their digestive track. Your humans however, how you said it, have little reason to have it, especially since it being further from the body than something like a backpack would also risk them them being overall easier to hit. $\endgroup$ Jul 27, 2022 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


Intended occupant was not human.

Humans got a bunch of these things for cheap. They are sweet exosuits for sure but their intended occupants were not human or humanoid. Humans can fit inside them and that is about it. Humans do not need the giant rear ends and so they will stow some sandwiches, a poncho, dry socks and other necessaries back there. Humans have to scramble some to use all the controls because we only have 2 manipulating limbs and so various workarounds using strings and tape have been jerryrigged.

There are other alien body armors in use by humans. Some of them can fit a couple of humans at once and they are operated as a crew. Some of them only fit very small humans and those are operated by kids. Some of them only fit cats and so some armored cats come along.

Some of them are not much use at all but they were in the lot that the humans bought, and are used for parts. One of those weird ones is operated by an AI. The AI is housed in a device about 3 cm long; the suit itself is otherwise full of sacks of kitty litter that act as ballast.


Mentioned by JBH, but I'm gonna make it an answer:

Power Supply

In order to power the flight/strength enhancement systems of the Wearable Assault/Strike Powersuit (it's a backronym by Lockheed/Martin, obviously), an experimental fuel cell was developed. It provides a great deal of power, but tends to overheat and can destabilize altogether. Therefore, it has to be kept away from direct contact with the wearer and be in a position for immediate ejection.

Hence, a large, wasp-like abdomen. It doesn't do great things to the suit's flight profile in atmosphere, but in space, no one can complain about your aerodynamics.


Using their past against them

Instilling fear in your enemies can be a great advantage in a battle. By learning about the past of your enemies, you can turn it against them and turn the tides of conflict.

It turns out that in the past, an especially violent wasp/bee/ant-shaped alien species (your pick) brought destruction and ruin to just about every other civilization. Their methods were brutal and effective, but they ended up getting wiped out by the herbivore species you mentioned, exactly for the reasons you talked about. Still, their brutality left a burning wound in the history of every involved alien groups.

For the more intelligent species, the sight of those war machines is a nightmare become form, which can seriously hurt the morale of soldiers. For the least intelligent ones, it will bring true terror, sometimes even making entire groups flee at those bringers of despair of eld, taken form once more.

Different practical uses of this shape have been found, and it can drastically vary from one model to another, from simple storage to actual weaponry. Nevertheless, most models use this shape because of this intimidation factor alone.


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