Burke Kale

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Burke Kale
Affiliation NAIS
Profession Scientist


Burke Kale was a genius. As a child prodigy he was given special education at a very early age. He received several degrees and had began teaching to support himself by his mid-teens, and at the age of sixteen he received a full scholarship to the NAIS and graduated with honors. Once graduated, and thanks to several government grants he completed a series of experiments that established his reputation as an authority on neurology, and ended with his appointment as faculty of the NAIS.[1] His groundbreaking research i advanced neurohelmet earned him a post as Senior Project Developer for the NAIS[2] and a place in history.[1]

In 3043 he proposed a revolutionary interface system that would do away with neurohelmets completely, providing a direct neural link between a Mechwarrior and his BattleMech that would ease maneuvering, making this just as easy as moving his won body. This was expected to greatly improve the speed and accuracy of the myomer's neuromuscular response. The NAIS did analyze the proposal of the DNI and concluded that it had several issues among them insufficient and dangerous testing, requiring human subjects along each step of the process. That was enough to deny the request for funding. Professor Kale continued his DNI research for two more years using private founding, but made little progress. Finally he arranged to be posted to the Dark Mirage facility. His position helped him to control all the aspects of the day to day business on the facility, from staff to budget.[2]

In 3047 he proposed to the NAIS and advanced neurohelmet and interface system that would allow a pilot to control almost all BattleMech functions directly through the neurohelmet, bypassing the manual controls present in 'mechs. That neurohelmet was dubbed Virtual Reality Piloting Pod (VRPP) and was also reducing the size of the cockpit which would allow to move it from the head to the center torso (a location that was proposed as the best alternate cockpit location). The NAIS reviewed the new proposal and found fewer risks and mostly benefits when compared to the DNI system, granting finally the budget for additional testing. A new prototype was to be created and equipped with the new VRPP control system.[2]

He did pick NAIS graduates of the class of 3048 for his VRPP project, choosing his team carefully. He also started to divert facilities, materials and founding to support his DNI research working after hours and behind closed doors and using breakthroughs on the VRPP as the basis of his pet project.[2]

During the Clan Invasion he had access to Clan's Enhanced Imaging information that shared with Marshal Daniel Darwith, MI2 Tharkad head from the Department of Military Intelligence.[3] This led to another breakthrough in the VRPP (and hence to the DNI research). Professor Burke was able to develop a neural network that would allow him to go to prototype with his covert DNI project at the same time the VRPP system would be ready for testing.[2]

At this stage, he started recruiting team members for his DNI project, promising fame and fortune and sworn them to secrecy. He divided the project in small tasks assigning each task to a different team member so they have no idea of the full scope of the DNI.[2]

When there was a complete control system available, Burke did "appropiate" another Dark Mirage project, the Prometheus 'Mech where the DNI- and VRPP-compatible pod was installed.[2]

Kale had the DNI-link surgically implanted into his own brain, making himself a guinea pig in his deadly experiment and inmediatelly tested the Prometheus. The experiment turned out to be his undoing, taxing his body and mind to the limit, hence suffering serious neurological damage and making him an addict to that power.[2]

At that time, he disbanded the team and continued working alone. He lied to his secret team telling them that the DNI experiment had failed and asking them to leave the Dark Mirage facility (and knowing he would not be denounced because of the fear his team had if NAIS discovered the secret project). At the same time, professor Burke told NAIS that the VRPP was an abject failure and shut down the Dark Mirage facility. Knowing this might create suspicion against him, he took the Prometheus and his research and left to Solaris VII knowing that in 3053 that was a place where an strange 'Mech would not arise additional attention.[2]

He started there trying to attract a government that would support his DNI research, but unfortunately for him, each connection increased his illusion of power and finally he only lived for the thrill of combat.[2]

Hi quickly advanced to the Class Five ranks, being the 14th in a short period of time and becoming a fan favorite.[4] People though he might be using Clan Tech, very strange in 3053 in the arenas, and that was giving him an edge.[5]

Finally his mind went completely crazy and he took his completed Epimetheus and he started believing he had become death, a destroyer of worlds. His rampage destroyed part of the Black Hills district, being only stopped by the efforts of the NAISCIT sent to investigate all the Dark Mirage facility issues. He was found outside his cockpit, in the ground, weeping, slowly curling into the fetal position.[6] Soon after that the went into a coma.[7]


Always very work obsessed, as of 3053, and because of repeated exposure to the side effects of the DNI experiment, he now believes to be one with his 'Mech, and thinking him to be indestructible while interfaced with it. He has started to refer his 'Mech as his body and his techs as his doctors. While outside the 'Mech, he feels exposed and is showing signs of acute paranoia. Barely able to communicate except with Winston Davis, he prefers to be left alone, working in his lab. He is an unbalanced madman, and a dangerous one because of his brilliance.[1]

Physical Description[edit]

In 3053 his body is withered by neglect born of obsession, being a pitiful shell of the man he once was. He looks gaunt and pale, prematurely old.[1]


He and his team where involved in several ground breaking projects while working on the Dark Mirage facility:



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Unbound, p. 56, "Burke Kale"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Unboundp5-6, p. 5-6, "The Story so far"
  3. 1st Somerset Strikers, p. 30, "Intelligence Secretariat Internal Memo N0. 7335 - D"
  4. Unbound, p. 36, "Prometheus Unchained"
  5. Unbound, p. 45, "Professor Burke Kale"
  6. Unbound, p. 38-39, "Rampage"
  7. Unbound, p. 43, "Kale on the loose"
  8. Unbound, p. 66, "Direct Neural Interface (DNI)"
  9. Unbound, p. 67, "Virtual Reality Piloting Pod"
  10. Unbound, p. 64, "Control Systems"
  11. Unbound, p. 73, "P1-WF Wildfire"
  12. Unbound, p. 74, "Prometheus"
  13. Unbound, p. 75, "Epimetheus"