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|Designer||Project Dark Fox|
|Chassis||Foundation Type 10X|
|Armor||Durallex Special Heavy|
|Speed|| 22 kph Walking
32 kph Running
"The sight of BattleMechs lumbering across the terrain is a familiar one among the worlds of the Inner Sphere. Nevertheless, the sight of an Atlas still manages to make even experienced MechWarriors break out in a sweat." This we may have read before, but no one usually expects one such Atlas -- at least, it looks like one -- to pop around with chrome exhaust pipes sticking out of its side.
The Mule, dubbed by a drunk tech at one of the factories on Hesperus II (which makes the original Atlas), is essentially a slightly powered-down Atlas running on a diesel engine. The primary concern was to cut the cost down and make it useful to garrison units all over the Inner Sphere who couldn't even afford to use fusion engines, simply couldn't afford to lose one, or for the sadistic MechWarriors who like to hear and feel the hum of a giant truck engine underneath their command couch. While this engine is heavier, not as efficient, and forces the unit to use power amplifiers, it still is a force to be reckoned with. The original Atlas was reported to mount enough armor as heavy as a light 'Mech. To help free up some space, armor was dropped to a still-strong 16 tons. However, because the engine cannot hold integrated heat sinks like the fusion engine, this loss in armor was substantially necessary. The original Defiance 'Mech Hunter Autocannon is still in the 'Mech's right side, as is the TharHes Maxi SRM-6 Missile System, however the count of Medium Lasers was dropped to three. The two mounted in the rear were dropped in favor of a single in the head. In addition, the unique LRM-20 rack was dropped for a more rudimentary LRM-15. Still, this small loss in firepower doesn't make it much less useful. Again, the unit is powered by diesel, and isn't very efficient. If it's lucky, the Mule can reach a top speed of barely 35 kph, making it ideal for built-up areas.
The Mule is essentially a very cheap knock-off of the Atlas -- cheap being the operative word. Due to the slow speed and the very low cost (it runs as expensive as a light Heavy 'Mech), it is perfect for most garrison units around. However, the mysteriousness of the wild redesign makes it extremely rare.