From the Diary of Lieutenant Harold 'Morty' Mortimore on the Field 15 September, 1916
Seems me and the boys are to take 'Daredevil' out for a drive today! And wearing the queerest suit you've ever seen!! The chaps at HQ had shown us how this would protect me and my crew from the weapons backlash. Jimmy was going to pilot the thing, and I was to man the new 'surprise addition' of Churchills' made behind Major General Swintons' back. We had just transferred in April and had very little experience with machine guns much less this shiny thing. I happen to know they BOTH Swinton AND Churchill felt it was too early to deploy such a weapon too soon. But as we out numbered the entrenched fiends, it was decided (by someone OTHER than Churchill or Swinton) to deploy about forty or so of our armored surprises. The suits gave us the appearance of otherworldly beings, with great snouts for our breathing in case the fiends resorted to Gas warfare, and to protect ourselves from the sparks that would prove as deadly as a bullet if we were not so protected.
'Grounded' was what that civy technical advisor- Tesla, I think his name was, called the protection. Safety was always first he said, and with proper procedure, there would follow minimum risk. There was an outer skin of a material that reminded me of thinner wellies, and smelled the same, and threaded with a bright, coppery, thread (which turned out to be ACTUAL copper). The view screens in the suits and on the tank allowed a clear, although narrow view. But Mr Tesla showed us that aim wouldn't be a problem as the Boche had set up a long metallic barrier along the front of their trenches.
The bloody things squeaked when you walked!!, but I suppose stealth wouldn't be an issue in such garb. Not with all the other noise of war.
Most of my uniform was intact and sections of it were smoking. I took stock of what I had and looked around to see what I could use as a weapon, as I could see no rifles about. The small bits of metal here and there from the bits of barb wire and the various buckles and other adornments on the bodies that surrounded me were trailing gray trails upward, like all of the metal spirits had been defeated.
We were, all of us anxious to get going. Our orders and our objectives were fairly simple; gain as much ground as possible so that the infantry could follow in relative safety. If possible get to the village of Flers. I began running through my mental checklist getting ready; we had charges for the weapon ready, The Mark 1, with its forward tilted profile, seemed ready to go, like a beast trembling to be released.